Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Shame, shame

Every casualty among the 600 across the Sun Media chain has a name and a story, whether they have been an employee for months, years or decades.

Conglomerates would rather issue a tidy press release with the number of layoffs, the percentage of the company's work force and money saved, and be done with it.

Not on our watch and shame on publishers at any of the Sun Media papers who bow to corporate pressure to minimize the cutbacks and give little, if any, thanks to the employees being cut.

Shame on the Toronto Sun for devoting two pathetic paragraphs today to Tuesday's job cuts on a Money page filled with CP copy and not a word from departing Linda Leatherdale.

Shame on the Toronto Sun and other papers if they do not have the balls to thank departing veteran staffers for their years of loyalty and dedication.

We have seen many Toronto Sun vets squeezed out by Quebecor go quietly without a word of their departures, or a thank you in print. John Downing, Al Cairns, Valerie Gibson from the 2007 carnage come to mind.

When it comes to high-profile vets like Linda Leatherdale and Jane Stevenson from yesterday's cuts, do it for them and do it for the readers.

Do it for yourselves.

Two paragraphs in today's Sun really is pathetic for a tabloid that once took pride in sharing every aspect of its existence with readers.

What is the value of journalism when it has come to journalists being terrified to speak their minds in fear of Quebecor's fist? Freedom of expression? Freedom of the press? Nyet.

This blog has been witness to two years of Sun Media employees asking for anonymity on internal matters because they fear for their jobs.

It is not paranoia. The fear is genuine. They are journalists who fear being fired for speaking their minds. Simply incredulous.

Shame on all of the columnists, editors and managers who so fear the wrath of Quebecor that they remain mute at a time when public goodbyes are demanded.

That isn't the Sun we knew and used to love.


  1. Outstanding, well said. It must be really pathetic to be one of the unscrupulous, gutless weasels in "management" at all these papers who wring their hands, cry crocodile tears, pretend they are sympathetic and then return to their sorry ass-kissing jobs and are the first to step up for firing squad duty in the next round of executions.

    You know who you are. We know who you are. Sorry excuses for human beings, let alone so-called journalists or leaders. No principles, no worth, no shame.

  2. In defence of the columnists, even if they did write something, you gotta think it's destined to be spiked. Words fail me.

  3. Yes, the Sun's management has become a gutless wonder...past layoffs and downsizings were always given a reasonable amount of coverage...especially my year in 2001. Even quotes from Trudy Eagan and Godfrey appeared in the next day's paper then (Trudy was always a class act) current management all hide, scurrying back into their rat holes while allowing two paragraphs to be set in ink for posterity. There used to be some great people in HR, and one or two decent folks in management (Ed Monteith for example). There is no one decent left at that level... As I told the managment guy at the time (..he is now just an ordinary hack) who called me to tell me my services were no longer required in 2001.. "just wait, you could well be next..." Well he is still there, but dont hold your breath, my dear man. If Linda Leatherdale can be busted after so many years of service... then don't think your long career with Sun Media will keep you safe and warm. I wish I had left long before I had put in 23 years there. But one gets complacent...and back then the Sun really did have good benefits/vacations etc. Unlike now, erosion of sabbaticals, benefits etc. is apparent. Certainly, things have been more interesting since let me give a word of hope to those who are now part of Sun history, there is life after the Sun. It doesnt seem like it now. I was more than pissed for a year (more so by the gutless, faceless phone call in the middle of my vacation than anything else)...but it's like kicking any dependancy you slowly get over it. And find something healthier and more fulfilling. Working at the Sun has not been a healthy environment for years...too few staff doing too much work. Thank god the union at least got them decent bucks.

  4. Words HAVE been written about the cutbacks and the lost colleagues - and those words have been spiked. So tone it back a bit - people are trying, but they do work for Quebecor. Remember who the villain is here and don't attack those left behind.