Study will give researchers insight into the role layoffs and forced career changes play in the ongoing transformation of Canadian journalism.

By Nicole Cohen

Over the past few weeks, journalists and commentators have been debating how to make sense of the recent round of layoffs in Canadian journalism. Two Canadian researchers are interested in hearing from journalists themselves about the experience of job loss, either through a layoff or a voluntary buyout. Canadian media companies have been restructuring since the 2008 recession, and little is known about what happens after journalists leave their media organizations. This research will be the first in Canada to examine in depth the complex interplay between economic, technological, workplace and career pressures transforming journalism today.

Andrea Hunter, from Concordia University, and Nicole Cohen from the University of Toronto, are conducting a survey of journalists who have experienced job loss from 2012 on. The research will give us insight into the role that layoffs and forced career changes are playing in the ongoing transformation of Canadian journalism. The project is an international component of a research project currently underway in Australia. has published some results from that research.

Journalists are encouraged to participate by taking a 15-minute survey and sharing the link to our survey with any journalism colleagues who have experienced job loss (either a layoff or a buyout) from 2012 to present. The survey is available in English or French.

Please visit the research project’s website in English or French, and feel free to contact the researchers for more information.

Nicole S. Cohen is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her book on freelance journalists’ labour conditions and organizing efforts is forthcoming from McGill-Queen’s University Press.