With latest round of media layoffs, this reporter is truly thankful for his job

By Jesse Robitaille

It’s a common scene in the Canadian media landscape.

At the end of every year – just in time for the holidays – at least one of the few media conglomerates announces significant layoffs.

Keeping with tradition, Canada lost five free daily print papers (and their online counterparts) this November. Rebranded as StarMetro by Torstar a little more than a year ago, the papers circulated in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax and Toronto in a move originally aimed at offering “more original local reporting and in-depth investigations, the kind of journalism our readers want and deserve,” according to Catherin Bradbury, then editor-in-chief and vice-president of StarMetro national.

On Nov. 19, news broke of the cost-cutting move that also put 73 employees – 30 of them journalists – out of a job. That day, Torstar also announced another 48 layoffs at two southern Ontario papers, the Hamilton Spectator and Waterloo Region Record.

Not only is this diverse lot of reporters from across Canada suddenly without work, but their communities are worse off, too.

At the risk of sounding tactless, I feel rather fortunate to have my job (and without the unsettling job-security concerns permeating so much of Canadian media today).

Sure, print media is a tough go for everyone involved—but we here at CSN have been able to persevere with your support. Despite the seemingly never-ending hunt for advertisers and our ongoing efforts to keep costs low, we’re in a pretty position to continue telling Canada’s most important philatelic stories for the long haul.

For this, we can thank Editor Mike Walsh – a veteran of the publishing industry – who came to the helm of Trajan Media in July 2013 and reinvigorated CSN as the “paper of record” for Canadian philately.

Then there are the readers. I speak on behalf of everyone at Trajan Media when I say thank you for your continued readership, which gives us all the opportunity to do what we love – day in, day out – despite the decline of other print media.

It should be noted your support for CSN is also a show of support for independent, Canadian-owned media. We’re one of the few independently owned Canadian newspapers in existence today.

And in only a couple of months (February 2020), I’ll be marking a personal milestone—a half-decade with Trajan Media. It’s been a lightning-fast five years, but time flies when you’re having fun. Because journalism is a life-long dream of mine, I feel forever indebted to the hobby’s many interesting characters, whose passion and dedication necessitate someone working full time to tell their stories.

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