The headlines and stories about media layoffs and downsizing just kept coming over the first half of this year. Here are a few examples.
“Bell Media has cut 80 fulltime positions in its latest round of layoffs, citing an industrywide challenging advertising market…”
“First this past week it was the layoffs at Postmedia Vancouver with 54 jobs being chopped at the Vancouver Sun and Province. Now more layoffs are being announced at several CTV stations across Ontario, in a continuing attempt to cut costs as profits for traditional media news outlets dwindle… CTV says there are more layoffs coming at stations across the country.”
“The Canadian Media Guild is disappointed that CBC failed to consult the union on introducing new work methods with the latest round of cuts, a violation of our collective agreement… Workforce adjustment assessments have started, and CMG leaders in locations across the country are working hard to deal with the latest cuts and, wherever possible, help the 241 members affected…”
These developments illustrate two key realities. First, the corporate mass media is not in the business (if it ever was!) of providing news and entertainment. The objective of such corporations is, in effect, to sell readers and viewers to advertisers, not the other way around. In the process, the “content” in the mass media is primarily focused on meeting the needs of the advertisers, not on readers and viewers.
Second, the huge job cuts in the Canadian mass media reflect the wider crisis of the entire capitalist system. In the mad scramble for profits, media bosses slash costs to a minimum – not because they want to lay off journalists, but because otherwise they will go out of business.
That makes the working class media, including newspapers like People’s Voice (and our website, peoplesvoice.ca), more crucial than ever. In this issue, you can read about important developments at the Canadian Labour Congress (which was almost totally ignored in the mainstream media), and get a socialist perspective on the outcome of the BC election, and much more. But we have to stay in operation to keep providing such reports.
As of mid-May, we are at $29,882, or 60% of our $50,000 Fund Drive target, with a number of major annual fund-raisers coming up. Ontario has the highest target, and the largest amount raised to date, with $19,200. BC was slowed down by the provincial election, but has now turned in $6492, or 32% of the provincial quota. Alberta is at exactly the half-way mark, with $1745 raised, and Saskatchewan is at 60%, with $480 raised on their $800 goal. Manitoba has turned in $270, and Quebec is at 67% of their $500 target, with $335 raised. Nova Scotia has gone over their target, raising $$735 to date, and Newfoundland & Labrador have sent in $325, over 80% of their $400 goal. And we have received $300 from supporters in the US, a gesture of internationalism for which we are deeply grateful.
Our next major event is the annual People’s Voice Banquet, 5:30 pm, Saturday, June 17, at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave., Vancouver. Tickets are $20 for this great evening of culture and food, or $12 for unemployed and students. We look forward to seeing many Lower Mainland readers at the Banquet!