OTTAWA – CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is calling on the federal government to ensure that any subsidies for newspapers go to creating journalism jobs, not to executive bonuses or hedge fund lenders.
Today, News Media Canada, which represents the country’s print media industry, released a proposal calling for the creation of a government-financed Canadian Journalism Fund. It recommends a subsidy of 35 cents to newspapers and digital media companies for every dollar spent on journalism.
CWA Canada supports aid for the news media industry but cautions that there must be a mechanism to ensure that any subsidy creates jobs and improves journalism.
“Under the current proposal, there is nothing to stop companies like Postmedia from taking millions of dollars in taxpayer money and not creating a single job,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said.
“We must ensure that any government subsidies go toward creating front-line journalism jobs and increasing quality civic journalism. They must not be used for executive bonuses, to feed hedge fund lenders, or to outsource jobs overseas.”
Postmedia, which has cut over 3,000 jobs in the last decade, paid CEO Paul Godfrey and other top executives $2.3 million in “retention” bonuses last year.
“Postmedia has been hurt by its self-created debt and hedge fund ownership as much as by declining print ad revenues and should not get taxpayer money unless it spends that money on journalism,” O’Hanlon said.
CWA Canada represents about 6,000 media workers at companies across the country, including the CBC, The Canadian Press, VICE Canada, Thomson Reuters, and many Postmedia publications.
For more information, contact:
President, CWA Canada