Labour issues dominate our list of the 10 most-read stories about Canadian journalism in 2014.
By Ronan O’Beirne, Associate Editor
It was another busy year in Canadian journalism, with labour issues looming large. Here are J-Source’s top 10 stories of 2014, as determined by page views.
10. 130 laid off at CBC; local newscasts shortened
The public broadcaster cut staff and programming this year. More than 100 unionized employees in more than 20 markets lost their jobs, according to the Canadian Media Guild, and local broadcasts in many cities were cut from 90 minutes to 30 or 60 minutes.
9. 3 laid off at Newstalk 1010
In August, Bell Media laid off three full-time staff at CFRB in Toronto. Morning anchor Evelyn Macko, Queen’s Park reporter Katie Franzios and reporter Amber Gero were let go from the station.
8. Globe proposal for reporters to write advertorials leads to labour standoff
The Globe’s plan to have reporters write advertorial copy angered the paper’s union and was dropped at the eleventh hour of contract negotiations.
7. Star abandons plan to hire digital journalists at “market-based salaries”
The Star rankled its union with its plan to hire eight digital journalists who would be paid about $200 a week less than other reporters. The union staged a byline strike over what it called the creation of “second-tier jobs in the newsroom that threaten every one of us.” The two sides eventually compromised, agreeing that all new reporting hires would be made temporary, lesser-paid jobs under the existing journalist classification.
6. 11 mistakes to avoid as a newbie journalist
Don’t be afraid to bother your assignment editor, and leave out that reference to “yellow police tape.” Zev Singer, formerly of the Ottawa Citizen, offered up 11 handy tips every intern needs to hear.
5. David Walmsley replaces John Stackhouse as Globe editor-in-chief
In March, David Walmsley returned to the Globe and Mail to replace John Stackhouse as editor-in-chief. Walmsley had previously worked at the Globe from 2006 to 2012, followed by a stint at the CBC. (Stackhouse reappeared in the Globe’s pages later in the year.)
4. Globe and Mail’s bonus plan could backfire
The Globe revealed that bonuses for some editors would be pegged to analytics this year. J-Source’s Business of Journalism editor Kelly Toughill called the experiment the paper’s “riskiest innovation yet” and said it could hurt the Globe’s brand.
3. Surprised? Canadian newspaper columnists are mostly male, middle-aged
Dylan Robertson surveyed the country’s English-language dailies and found that only 27 per cent of their columnists were women. Among those who either responded or had a birth year listed online, the median age was 58.5.
2. Canadian media musical chairs
April was a dizzying month, as Robyn Doolittle and Cathal Kelly left the Toronto Star for the Globe and Damien Cox left for Sportsnet. The Star soon filled one sports vacancy with Bruce Arthur, formerly of the Post. There was so much movement that Tamara Baluja had to map everything out (twice).
1. Layoffs at Postmedia and the Globe and Mail
The year started off on a somber note, as the National Post laid off seven editorial staff, including social media editor Jeremy Barker and sports editor Jim Bray. That same week, the Globe announced it would lay off 18 people, including nine from editorial.