(en) Black Wednesday

planet earth (riccawu@MNSi.Net)
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 19:20:19 -0400

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

>Black Wednesday Demonstration & Media Action Strategy
>Please forward to progressive workers and lists.
> Freedom of speech, media diversity and democracy such as we know it are
>under attack in our community and across the country, and it's time to do
>something about it.
> A national Press Freedom Day has been declared for Wednesday, April 16.
>Please come out and join the protest and action strategy at The Windsor
>Star, at 12 noon on Wednesday April 16, and continuing at the Press Club on
>Riverside Drive afterwards.
> The CBC is under siege, while all five private broadcasting outlets in our
>city are owned by one Toronto corporation, CHUM Ltd. Meanwhile, our daily
>paper has been taken over by Conrad Black. The Windsor Star just announced
>the "voluntary" retirement of publisher Jim Bruce, 55, to be replaced on
>May 1 by beancounter Jim McCormack, director of circulation and marketing
>from the Toronto Sun.
> The Windsor Star also announced that the local news Zone pages will be
>cancelled effective May 2, in favour of more international and business
>news, which will mean the end of up to nine unionized jobs. Since 1992 when
>Conrad Black bought into Southam Inc., the editorial staff of our community
>paper has been cut by 26 percent.
> Despite promises of "stable funding" in the Liberal's Red Book, the CBC is
>in the midst of $414 million in cuts, over four years. About 2,500 jobs
>will be eliminated, on top of the 1,500 cut in 1995. By May of next year
>the CBC's full-time staff will be about half 1984 levels, with CBC English
>TV losing one in three jobs.
> With the CBC under siege and private media concentrated in the hands of
>today's Family Compact, our news and information suffer immensely. The news
>media overwhelmingly promote corporate views, all the while marginalizing
>ideas which favour the people.
> Through Hollinger Inc. Conrad Black now owns 59 out of 105 daily
>newspapers in Canada, with 42 percent of national daily circulation. Black
>controls about 50 percent of English-language daily circulation. His method
>is to fire between 25% and 50% of the staff, and replace them with a cash
> His most recent victims are at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, where 21
>full and part-time workers have been laid off or given early retirement,
>leaving 42 employees. John Farrington, publisher and general manager, says
>the newspaper will be printed an hour later, at 2 a.m., so that sports
>scores from West Coast games will be reported that day. A new computer
>system will be put in place and the telephone system upgraded.
> The editor of The Montreal Gazette, Joan Fraser, resigned last fall over
>differences with Black. The editor of the Ottawa Citizen, James Travers,
>resigned over differences with Black. The editorial page editor of the
>Ottawa Citizen, Peter Calamai, resigned last fall over differences with Black.
> The new editor of the Ottawa Citizen is Neil Reynolds, past president of the
>Libertarian Party of Canada. New writers hired by Black include his cousin
>Andrew Coyne, and Giles Gherson, both formerly of the Globe and Mail, his
>wife Barbara Amiel Black, VP editorial for Hollinger and a columnist, and
>her former husband and mentor George Jonas, who writes a media column for
> Hollinger's Chief Financial Officer Jack Boultbee recently told reporters
>that he wants 25 percent profits out of Southam by next year and 35 percent
>eventually. Southam currently averages just 13 percent profits, so there is
>a lot more squeezing to do. Boultbee said previous staff reductions
>announced by Southam are inadequate, but he refused to say how many more
>people will be fired.
> "Press Freedom Day" has been declared for April 16, 1997. It is sponsored
>by a coalition called the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.
>Locally, it is sponsored by the Friends of the CBC, and the Social Justice
> Please get the message out as broadly as possible that we will be holding
>a demonstration at the Windsor Star, Wednesday April 16 at noon, to be
>followed by a teach-in on corporate media concentration and cuts to the
>CBC, at the Press Club.
>This national campaign is sponsored by the Communications, Energy and
>Paperworkers Union, The Newspaper Guild, The Canadian Media Guild, Friends
>of Canadian Broadcasting, Canadian Teachers' Federation, OSSTF, BC
>Teachers' Federation, CLC, Rural Dignity, CUPW, Sask. Federation of Labour,
>BC Federation of Labour, Council of Canadians, National Farmers' Union,
>Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, GCIU, CUPE, National
>Anti-Poverty Organization, Periodical Writers Association of Canada,
>Writers Union, ACTRA, Assembly of First Nations, CAW, MediaWatch, and the
>Action Canada Network.
>For more information contact: Jim Winter at 977-7079, or winter@uwindsor.ca
>For information on events in your city, call the Council of Canadians,

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