In response to Postmedia’s massive cuts at Vancouver’s two leading newspapers, Unifor is asking supporters to change their social media profile picture and sign a petition to help save local news.
“A free society relies on a strong media to hold people with power in our society to account. These cuts will severely limit the ability of British Columbians to know and understand what is going on in their community,” said Unifor’s Media Director Howard Law.
Postmedia announced Friday, March 24 that it was cutting 54 positions at the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province, which last year began to share a newsroom after earlier cuts. The layoffs announced, including 29 in the newsroom, follow a buyout program in January that saw 38 jobs lost.
Law called on supporters of the journalists to change their profile photos on Facebook and Twitter, using the graphic available at left, and to sign the Save Local News petition at mediaactionplan.ca/petition.
The cuts come in the midst of a hotly contested provincial election in British Columbia.
“Journalists in BC have been doing an incredible job uncovering vital issues in their election,” Law said. “Postmedia’s decision to push so many talented journalists out the door of the province’s leading newspapers will leave the electorate less informed on election day.”
Five top executives received a total of $2.275 million in retention bonuses last year, including $900,000 to CEO Paul Godfrey. Since then, two of the five have left the company, and Godfrey’s contract has been extended to the end of 2020.