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Update on the use of iPhones in newsgathering

CMG has been in discussions with CBC management on the introduction in the workplace of smartphone technology (e.g., iPhones) to provide video and still pictures.

New technologies are and will continue to be part of our rapidly changing industry and we need to keep up with them. As people who work in the media, we welcome the new capacities this technology provides to tell stories in new and different ways. At the same time, the Guild remains committed to making sure that the changes are managed in a fair and productive way. In our ongoing discussions, the Guild and the Corporation have agreed that:

– The smartphone technology will not replace the use of full-featured professional cameras and camera people in news production.

– The technology will also not replace the specialist role that VJs play in our newsgathering and production operations.

– Smartphones will be used to enhance the ability of all editorial people (reporters, camera people, VJs, field producers) to have access to a range of tools from which they can select those that best serve them.

– As with all technologies, concerns about quality, training and workload will be addressed in a way that respects the mission, the people involved, and the Collective Agreement.

A new video on where iPhones are useful and where they are not was produced by CBC management and we will make it available to you as soon as possible.

Upgrades issue being discussed

The use of smartphone technology poses new challenges when it comes to upgrades to a higher classification. Both the CBC and the Guild understand that upgrades are assigned by authorized personnel only. If you are not sure who that is in your location, ask a member of your local Guild executive to get clarification from local management.

In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind:

– No employee can assign themselves an upgrade or do the work first and then claim an upgrade.

– No one should refuse an assignment because of a dispute about an upgrade as this could result in disciplinary action. If you find yourself in such a situation, the Guild recommends that you keep a record of the details of the work you did, who assigned you, and what the story was, and provide this information to your local president who will forward it to a member of the national joint committee (NJC) listed below.

This information will help the Guild gain better insight into the real life situations you are facing. These facts and examples will help us as we work to figure out the best course of action in our discussions with the CBC.

For additional information, speak to your local Guild president or write to info@cmg.ca

Your National Joint Committee:
Marc-Philippe Laurin
Carrie Bradshaw
Barbara Saxberg
Dan Oldfield
Glenn Gray

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