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Quebecor killing itself by abandoning quality local jobs and journalism

By guest blogger Martin O’Hanlon


Quebecor revealed today that it will cut some 500 jobs at its Sun Media newspaper division, including the closure of production plants in Ottawa and Kingston, a slash-and-burn approach to profitability that will only make things worse in the long run.

If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that cutting jobs only hurts quality, and that does nothing to attract readers or generate revenue. To win back disenchanted readers and boost profits, Quebecor should be investing in quality local jobs and journalism.

As the union that represents workers at several Sun Media newspapers including the Kingston Whig-Standard, and advocates for quality local journalism, we maintain that cutting local jobs is a short-sighted strategy.

[CMG note: CMG weighed in on Quebecor’s approach to local news in a 2010 submission to the CRTC]

It’s also puzzling to look at how much Quebecor talks about its commitment to the communities it serves while making decisions to underserve those communities – cutting local jobs, producing sub-standard local news.

And as we know too well, for the hundreds of workers who will soon be out of work, the job cuts will be tough personally, for their families and of course for their communities.

Quebecor could borrow a page from legendary investor Warren Buffett who is busy buying newspapers in the United States and committing to quality local journalism as the key to success.

Martin O’Hanlon is the Director of CWA Canada, the parent union of The Canadian Media Guild that represents media workers from coast to coast.


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