A democratic society needs an aggressive and free press able to pursue truth where it finds it, to give Canadians the information they need to exercise their democratic rights responsibly, to celebrate their victories, and to help hurting communities mourn their losses. Recent cuts to newspapers across our country have hampered this vital role. The latest come at the Toronto Star, one of the few progressive voices in Canadian mainstream media, following earlier cuts at Sun Media and Post Media papers last year. Broadcasters, too, have been left threadbare by years of corporate cuts.
On March 4th, the Star announced it was cutting dozens of it staff – members of this union – in the name of cost-cutting. Gone will be editors, designers, researchers and more. At a time when the paper needs more ads, it’s cutting ad staff. Also facing the chopping block are the paper’s youngest reporters, part of a unique program this union helped foster to give aspiring journalists their first break into the industry.
These cuts, like those before them across the industry, will diminish the important role the media plays in our society and harm our democracy. Our heart goes out to those directly hit by this week’s cuts, and for the lost voices that comes with them. It’s a sad day for the Star, for journalism and for our country.