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CAJ fears for local news in B.C. after Kamloops closure

Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is disappointed Glacier Media is abandoning its news operations in Kamloops, B.C. The company announced Jan. 6 it had issued a 60-day notice to its employees it would be ceasing operations in Kamloops and closing the Kamloops Daily News. The daily newspaper has over 80 years under its belt and was purchased by Glacier Media as part of its acquisition of Hollinger Canadian Newspapers, LP in 2006.

This decision highlights a disturbing trend of newspaper publishers choosing to shut down newsrooms rather than choose other less-drastic measures of reducing their costs of production. It extinguishes a voice in the media landscape in communities where the choices are already few.

"The CAJ understands the financial challenges involved in producing high-quality local news and information that advertisers and subscribers are willing to pay for," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. "However, it's a sad day for the state of media and journalism in Canada when the easy choice is to close up shop and walk away rather than find other ways of continuing to serve a community in some fashion."

The CAJ is increasingly concerned with the number of newspaper closures in small- to medium-sized communities across Canada. It fears Monday's announcement will not be the last in the coming months as owners review their year-end financials and move to improve their bottom lines. Newspapers have closed in every Canadian province over the past two years and the void left by their absence in the local news market has often been left empty.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing over 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

For further information: Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president -519-535-8680 cell, hugo@caj.ca

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