Thursday, 7 May 2009

Sun freedoms

There was a time when all decisions at the flagship Toronto Sun were made within the walls of 333, from the daily cafeteria menu in Red's on the first floor to expansion plans on the 6th.

Memos being forwarded to TSF, originating in the offices of external personnel on high, tell a different story for 333 and all Sun Media newspapers. The memos dictate content and layout in a dictatorial tone not befitting any newsroom professional.

Quebecor's cut and paste newspapering has taken much of the decision making out of the hands of publishers and editors and it shows.

You have to wonder how long the vets will tolerate the meddling. Fact is, a lot of them have decided not to put up with PKP's demeaning and demoralizing ways and have left the building.

We empathize with the remaining vets tired of all the meddling memos and all of the other bullshit but are not in a position financially to flip PKP the finger and walk out the door.

Those who have done just that in recent years say the days are sunnier out from under the debris.


  1. Today, the Edmonton Sun sold half its front page for an ad. I believe this is the first time in its history that this has happened. You can find the image here:

  2. This isn't directly related to this post, but I though readers of your blog might be interested to know that the Quebecor owned Timmins Daily Press is now down to two reporters because of a "hiring freeze." Which means that there will be days when its coverage area, which is bigger than many countries, will be covered by only one reporter. In the past, for example, the paper would send a reporter up to the James Bay Coast to report on flooding in First Nations communities, which became a national story. I guess that kind of thing would be tough to do now. When you consider that the paper doesn't pay its reporters much more than minimum wage, it just seems incredibly short-sighted for Quebecor to slowly bleed to death a paper which is no doubt a steady source of income for them. I only hope that they don't use the Daily Press as a model for just how far back they can cut their other papers. The cost of hiring one reporter isn't much one you stack it against the cost of lossing hundreds of readers whose communities the paper can no longer properly cover. I wonder why papers like the Daily Press even have publishers anymore, when all that's left for them to do is rubberstamp Quebecor's dictates. Surely it would be a better investment to take the publisher's salary and hire two or three reporters.

  3. This isn't related to the post either, but in light of the one above here's a good one.
    Dunnville Chronicle was staffed by three people, two full time and one part time. The part timer was purged back in December. The full time reporter just left not too long ago, leaving just the managing editor. With the hiring freeze that means no filling of the position, leaving a weekly paper with one person to do all the work. I wouldn't want to be that person!!

  4. There's really no point being a managing editor or publisher at a Sun Media paper these days.
    There is NO freedom for them whatsoever.
    Frankly, I see a day where neither position exists at many newspapers and all the decisions are made at a centralized office.