Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff


By Robert Channick, Tribune staff reporter

The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said.

A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. The layoffs are effective immediately.

The newspaper released a statement suggesting the move reflected the increasing importance of video in news reporting:

“The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network.”

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Winnipeg Free Press restricts online comments to subscribers in effort to reduce “digital diatribe”


The Winnipeg Free Press is restricting its online comments to print and online subscribers in an effort to keep “the e-party going without the party-crashers.”

The newspaper’s editor Paul Samyn said the new commenting policy designed to reduce the “digital diatribe” will go into effect on June 3.

“The thinking behind our policy change is the bulk of the ugliness that lands from time to time on our website comes from those abusing the “free” in Free Press to engage in gutter talk or worse on our no-cost forum,” he said. “There will no doubt be some who will accuse the Free Press of limiting their right to free speech, or complain that we’re not living up to the “free” in Free Press. They, of course, are entitled to their opinion, but, just for the record, there are no charter rights requiring us to have their voice heard at our water cooler.”

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Labour Reporting award winners expose injustice of unpaid internships

Source: CWA|SCA Canada

Three academics who documented the growing scourge of unpaid internships are this year’s winners of the Labour Reporting Award sponsored jointly by CWA Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Martin O’Hanlon, Director of CWA Canada, said Interns Unite! (You have nothing to lose — literally), published in November by the “fiercely independent” Briarpatch magazine, is an example of the quality, public-service journalism that is so sorely lacking in this country.

“This is a well-written, well-researched piece of journalism that tells an important story and exposes an injustice that is bad for society and bad for the economy: the exploitation of interns.

“As the country’s only all-media union, our focus is promoting and protecting quality jobs and quality journalism. That’s why we sponsor this award.”

Enda Brophy, Nicole Cohen and Greig de Peuter, who are collaborating on a research project on labour politics in the creative industries, were announced as the winners of the $1,000 prize at the CAJ’s annual conference held in Ottawa on the weekend.

The rampant growth of unpaid internships is a key issue for CWA Canada and its largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), which represents a significant contingent of freelancers in this country. The CMG partnered with ACTRA and Ryerson’s Centre for Labour Management Relations to stage the Will Work for Exposure conference in October 2012 that addressed topics including wage theft, copyright and workers’ rights.

2012.10.29| Unpaid internships: A boon or a bane?

2012.10.24| Internships and the intersection of class struggle and opportunity

There were several CWA Canada members among the recipients of the 15 awards handed out at the CAJ gala. They include:

Glen McGregor (Ottawa Newspaper Guild) of The Ottawa Citizen who, along with Postmedia’s Stephen Maher, shared in the Open Newspaper / Wire Service category for “Dirty election tricks revealed.”

Gil Shochat, Alex Shprinsten, Joseph Loeiro (Canadian Media Guild) of the CBC News Investigative Unit, in the Open Television category for “Fatal Deception.”

Melissa Brousseau (Canadian Media Guild) of CBC North – Maamuitaau, in the Regional Television category for “Breaking the mold.”

Alison Motluk (Canadian Media Guild) of CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition, in the Current Affairs category for “Wanted: Egg donor in good health.”

Jim Bronskill (Canadian Media Guild) of The Canadian Press, in the Scoop category for “Canada’s torture memos.”

Nahlah Ayed, Diane Grant (Canadian Media Guild) of CBC News – The National, won the JHR / CAJ Award for Human Rights Reporting for “Seeking safety.”