Global, BuzzFeed cuts diminish public’s right to know

OTTAWA, June 30, 2016 – Thanks to recent newsrooms cutbacks, our country has lost a team of investigative reporters and a parliamentary bureau – something the Canadian Association of Journalists believes will further compromise the right of citizens to know and understand what’s happening in their own society.

Earlier this week, Global announced it was cancelling 16×9, a public affairs show that was nominated for the CWA Canada/CAJ award for labour reporting earlier this year—and won RTDNA’s Dan McArthur Award for In-depth and Investigative Multi-platform Reporting earlier this month.

At the same time, BuzzFeed announced it was shuttering its Ottawa bureau just over a year after it opened, with the promise of bringing political news to younger audiences.

“At its best, journalism serves the public interest by holding power to account. But these newsrooms cuts directly target the capacity of those outlets to do this kind of work,” said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. “That marginalizes the place of news media in a democratic society.”

The 16×9 cuts further diminish the number of investigative journalist teams in Canada, an already rare sight even in major newsrooms. And BuzzFeed’s shift away from Ottawa misses an opportunity to engage young Canadians with parliamentary politics.

“Canadians can’t afford to lose a group of reporters who commit serious time and resources to investigations in the public interest—and reach new audiences,” said Taylor-Vaisey. “This moves mean fewer critical eyes and ears on governments that need to be doggedly watched, heard and held to account.”

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: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president, 647-968-2393, [email protected];

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