Thursday, January 5, 2012

Great Journalism Deserves Award

Great journalists we want you! In an effort to reward good journalism and to encourage more and better coverage of labour and social justice issues CMG and our parent union CWA-SCA Canada have teamed up with the esteemed Canadian Association of Journalists to offer one thousand dollars (and our gratitude) to a winning Journalist. Deadline to apply Jan 31, 2012. Apply at Good luck!

Workers Unite

If you are in a union, you have a say in how you are treated at work because you have a set of rules that the company and the union have agreed to, basically a collective agreement.
It sets out things like salary, working hours, shifts, annual leave and other practical information. Having this in writing gives staff a sense of confidence that everyone knows the rules and will be treated equally. It has taken years to get to the stage where we can hammer out these productive mutual agreements with employers. So its alarming to see the Harper government stepping in to order workers back to work; The Death of The Collective Agreement
Equally concerning are suggestions the Conservative government wants to change Canada's 100 year old Labour Code.

Good Luck Canadian Press

A century ago a handful of intrepid journalists and like-minded citizens strung up telegraph lines across the country and started sharing the news. The Canadian Press has been telling Canadians what's happening since 1917. More than 200 journalists across the country now send copy, photos, video, and radio audio to Radio, TV, newspapers, and online media across Canada.
On top of being historically significant, CP is one of the largest single original sources of news (because so many media use their material) in Canada. Sadly this year is a stressful one with jobs cuts likely. CMG's CP President Terry Pedwell is working with the company on
ways to save jobs, and help ensure a long productive future for both staff and a great institution.

Shameful Relocation

Sad news over the holidays, as media giant (55 thousand staff worldwide) Thomson Reuters cut 22 jobs at its Toronto office; relocating the mostly IT work to India. Even more disappointing is the company is owned by the Toronto based Thomson family. How is that for a lump of coal in your stocking! Many of us worry about the declining quality of journalism as companies downsize
and find ways to move work to developing countries where labour is cheaper. On top of all of all of this new studies call IT Jobs most stressful . No wonder.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CBC Smackdown

69% of Canadians support stable or increased funding for the CBC. A recent poll shows the level of support for the national network remains high. Three quarters of Canadians give the CBC high marks for fulfilling its mandate, and a majority want to see funding increased or maintained. The report by a Ryerson and U of Toronto professors shows viewers from all political parties believe the government should be supporting the CBC. The recent speculation around budget cuts has lead one group, to imagine a world where the CBC is sold to the highest bidder! A wrestling smackdown! See video at Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, May the day never dawn!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Running for A Cause

A shout out to all union members running the New York City
marathon this weekend. Thousands of union members are runners,
and thousands of runners are union it must be
good for you!

Journalism Quality

When journalists get together these days the declining quality of news is always on the agenda,
everyone is doing more with less; there are fewer working journalists, therefore fewer original stories, (not counting citizen journalists and personal blogs). Now a TV reporter may have to also file a radio or web story; print reporters are filing for multiple sources and everyone is taking photos. This multi-skilling means fewer bodies researching difficult stories because no one has time. What that leads to is the impression all newscasts are the same! To change that, and to encourage enterprize (innovative) reporting, where the real "scoops" come from, we need to support creative and alternate news sources, something many Euopean countries already do.
From Nick Fillmore of J-Source (at Ryerson University)
..."We need to build awareness among Canadians concerning the dangers of corporate media manipulation, as well as take steps to build and develop independent media outlets that will bring the public news and opinions that are more balanced and less ideological. "

"Mainstream journalists also need to increase their awareness level concerning their position in society. They need to listen to, and support, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations because the one per cent that controls our lives is the same one per cent that owns and controls for-profit news organizations. This does not mean that journalists should become advocates in their work for the positions being expressed, but journalists, just like any other group in their private lives, have an obligation to be responsible citizens and support whatever they believe to be good for society. "