Toronto – “The quality of information is threatened across the country and journalists are about to become an endangered species.” This is the opinion expressed by CUPE at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) convention in Toronto. “The convergence of media and the perfunctory closure of newsrooms constitute a serious threat to the diversity of voices of information, and as a result, to the vitality of our democratic debate,” said Michel Bibeault, assistant director of CUPE-Québec.“ We are witnessing an accelerated decline in the plurality of sources of information, a phenomenon that can be seen everywhere, but that is felt especially in the outlying regions that are losing their local news. It is high time for the Harper government to change its political position, defend the public interest, and put pressure on the CRTC to maintain the newsrooms in radio and television stations serving a general audience.”
CUPE believes that the situation is particularly troubling in Québec, given the announced closure of the TQS newsrooms and the CHRC newsroom in Québec City, and cutbacks at Global TV, TVA-Québec and The Gazette, not to mention the lockout at the Journal de Québec that has been going on for over a year. “While our planet is becoming smaller and, at the same time, increasingly complex, large conglomerates control the bulk of our information, creating little news but continually broadcasting the same information on a variety of platforms. Does this serve the interests of our citizens? Does this allow us to know what is happening in our communities? Does this enable us to make enlightened choices? Definitely not. We are on a slippery slope, and the major Canadian unions are reacting before it is too late,” added Michel Bibeault.