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April 09, 2007

Extra! Extra! Newspapers Aren't Down for the Count Quite Yet -- But Your Favourite Journalist May Be Headed Online

NewspaperDavid Olive has a great piece on the opportunities for newspapers, both on and offline, in Saturday's Toronto Star.

In the portion of his article where he discusses large-scale layoffs at many of North America's largest newspaper franchises, he notes that journalists and newspaper owners are both taking careful note of what the future holds for them -- and mapping out their next steps accordingly. For many owners, that means devaluing "content providers," acquiring content on the cheap, and slashing editorial jobs; for many journalists, it means making an exodus to the Web, "robbing newsrooms of some of their brightest, most energetic and Web-savvy talent."

Olive writes:

"The ground is now shifting, and will do so at an accelerating pace over the next two or three years, as the interests of journalists and proprietors begin to diverge. Having dumbed down or at least homogenized their product, newspaper owners now are desperately trying to preserve margins – and keep impatient investors at bay – by destroying their venerable franchises with rounds of layoffs. The 'content providers,' worried about job security and pensions, are examining their options. So are those few proprietors who understand that you can't shrink to survival, much less greatness."

Related:
Canadian Freelance Union: The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, the country's largest media union with 25,000 members who work in print, radio, television, film, design and new media, has decided to utilize its resources to create a strong collective voice for media freelancers and other independent communication professionals — to improve their income, benefits and working conditions. We believe that uniting everyone who works in Canada's media — employee or independent contractor — will be good for everyone. In addition, the development of an independent media sector, in which people can earn a decent living, will allow more viewpoints to be expressed, energizing our democracy.

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