Thursday, 12 March 2009

CP feedback

A former Edmonton Sun newsroom employee offers a view on Sun Media without the Canadian Press:

"I really don't know how Sun Media expects to create a national wire service out of what has been left behind.

"Having come from the Edmonton newsroom, I can tell you that it was common for the editors to say "CP will have it" because there were simply not enough bodies to cover the stories by the Sun alone.

"For a period of about seven months last year, CP WAS the Edmonton Sun's Legislature Bureau after the reporter was moved to a desker job.

"There have been restrictions on travel for reporters, which makes one wonder how they will properly cover stories that don't actually happen in Edmonton. As an example, Terry Jones, who has been one of the Sun chain's biggest columnists over most of the last 30 years and has been to every Olympics since he started for the Sun, had to fight to be allowed to travel to cover the Continental Cup of Curling last December in Camrose - a city 100 km outside of Edmonton. And even then they wouldn't spring for a hotel.

"I don't know if this is any longer the case, but for a while Edmonton photogs were told by management they would not be shooting Oilers games anymore because CP would be shooting them.

"I suppose Quebecor can say they have weeklies to cover events that happen outside the major metro areas, but that does not seem to be the case anymore if they are shuttering community newspapers in Alberta. I guess those communities will be left out of the new wire service as well.

"When Canwest left CP (in 2007) to start their own wire agency, they spent a year putting the resources in place to be able to handle the load. Quebecor has done the opposite, resorting to slashing and burning and gutting all the resources that they have and then starting a wire service.

"Canadian readers will be the losers here."

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