In wake of newsroom cuts, Canada should embrace non-profit journalism

OTTAWA, Aug. 11, 2016 – Torontonians and Canadians will be information poorer as a result of the Toronto Star’s recent decision to lay off 45 newsroom staff – something the Canadian Association of Journalists believes further heightens the need for government action to foster and support public-interest reporting.

At a time when cutbacks have reduced many papers to recycling rather than reporting the news, the Toronto Star – home to one of the few investigative journalism teams in the country – has distinguished itself with a continuing commitment to truth-finding and truth-telling.

But this week, the Toronto Star announced it was eliminating 52 positions – including 45 from its newsroom.

“These cuts will inevitably compromise the paper’s capacity to cover public issues in Toronto, Ontario and Canada as a whole – resulting in less-informed citizens, less-informed consumers and a more ignorant society,” said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey.

“A panel of MPs is currently studying the state of the Canadian media. But this news brings into relief the urgent need for the government to move from study to action,” he added.

Taylor-Vaisey said such measures could include the removal of restrictions that obstruct charitable support for non-profit journalistic endeavours. In the U.S., such efforts have helped fill the gap in coverage created by cutbacks at for-profit news outlets.

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 cell, [email protected]

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