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OTTAWA Todays ruling allowing newsroom integration between huge television and newspaper outlets is bad news for Canadians and stands in stark contrast to a ruling made by Canadas broadcast regulator in Qub0065c just last month.

In renewing CTV and CanWest Globals licences, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has given the green light to the merger of newsrooms between CTV and the Globe and Mail, both owned by Bell Globemedia as well as between CanWest and the National Post and over 100 other Hollinger newspapers. The CRTC ruled that its enough for newsrooms in the television and newspaper outlets to be separately managed, even as they converge.

Just last month, the CRTC imposed far stricter conditions on Qub0065cors ownership of TVA, recognizing that these mega-mergers create media monsters. They ordered that the newsrooms must be kept completely separate not just the management. That crucial difference helps ensure a diversity of voices in an ever-shrinking news world, said CUPE National President Judy Darcy.

The July ruling allowed Qub0065cor to take over control of TVA, but responded to concerns that media convergence is severely limiting the diversity of news content. The two media outlets must maintain separate and autonomous newsrooms as well as being independently managed, and no more than 40 per cent of the seats on TVAs board can be held by Qub0065cor directors.

While the Qub0065cor-TVA ruling wasnt perfect, its a lot tougher than what the rest of Canadas getting today, says Ra006c Leboeuf, president of CUPE 687, representing workers at TVA. Why did the CRTC cave when it came to CTV and CanWest? The concerns are the same limiting the number of voices in the media stifles discussion, debate and democracy. Its sad that corporate pressure can outweigh these bedrock principles of our society.

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For more information, contact:
Robert Fox, CUPE Communications Director
(613) 795-4977

CUPE is Canadas largest union, representing a half-million women and men working in health care, emergency services, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation and airlines. In Qub0065c, CUPE represents 7,000 communications workers at SRC, TVA, Global, TQS, Radiomd0069a, Tlmd0069a, Qub0065cTel, Vido0074ron, Coc006f, ONF and the Journal de Qub0065c.