La Presse: Two weeks and counting

UPDATE (Nov. 20): At 3:30am, an agreement in principle with three of the remaining unions, including the journalists. All that remains is distribution, but that’s the bargaining unit that La Presse wants to fire half of.

The deal still needs to be approved by the members, and we don’t know which side caved on the various demands, but the union seems to think this is the best offer they could get.

In case you forgot, La Presse is shutting down on Dec. 1.

While many have dismissed this over-the-top threat (they’d also shut down cyberpresse.ca) as an insane bluff, Gesca has reinforced it, reportedly arranging for BlackBerrys to be returned next week. Managers and employees are clearing out their desks, and the atmosphere in the newsroom is very tense.

The union, which was in negotiations today and will meet with members on Saturday, released this video in which Richard Labbé and Isabelle Masse sing (!) about what people would lose if La Presse gets shut down:

Mind you, I think Patrick Lagacé could find employment elsewhere, and there are lots of options for crosswords.

UPDATE: Rue Frontenac watched the video.

31 thoughts on “La Presse: Two weeks and counting

  1. Olivier

    Lagacé is just another talking head. It’s the reporting that would be missed. But I’ll beleive it when I see it.

    ruestandre.com and ruestandre.ca are still available!

    Reply
  2. POOL

    They say we’d have to wait all day before knowing what happened during the day ?? This is insane, they truly are out of touch, perhaps it’s time they closed.

    Reply
      1. POOL

        Absolutely – but here the issue is journalist/m (Lagacé) vs newspapers with a web aspect. Lagacé would have a whole bunch of options – the creator of the content is the brand people love, he just happens to be on La Presse

        It’s a bit like saying I love the Simpsons vs I love Fox network.

        Reply
  3. jean.naimard

     

    Do you reckon the Union paid the author for the right to use the music from Joe Dassin’s song?

    This is fair use derivative work parody, which although not specifically covered in canadian copyright law, is very legally defensible. Dassin’s heirs would have a hard time squeezing a penny from a court…
    * * *
    Good riddance. La (grosse) Praïsse (le quotidien français le plus épais d’Amérique) has been the biggest impediment to Québec’s sovereignty. Being a Desmarais mouthpiece, it has conveyed it’s master’s voice to scare the sheep into not voting for sovereignty.
    Will Desmarais carry his bluff to the end? If he would, this would be a very good news.
    (No, I don’t have the slightest sympathy for the people who would lose their job. I have been laid-off so many times and I have seen my earning power stagnate for so many years that I do not give a shit if it happens to others).
    Good riddance. Bon débarras.

    Reply
      1. jean.naimard

        You know what else has been the biggest impediment to Québec’s sovereignty?
        Voters.

        Yes, voters because they are hoodwinked and bamboozled by a coterie of swindlers, and many of those scribble under the wing of Desmarais.
        “One man, one vote” has always been the bane of the Establishment, and they have always endeavoured very hard to have the good people sprinkled with superficial shiny objects to distract their attention from the real issues. La (grosse) Praïsse is such an endeavour, of a level more subtle than the grossest mean used, professional hokey.
        When given the actual raw facts, anyone of good faith will support Québec’s sovereignty if he has no vested interest in the status-quo. Yes, even the bad old english (there are plenty of english sovereignists, even from Britain).
        Why is why I am “wasting my time here” preaching sovereingty to you blokes.

        Reply
        1. Jim J.

          Why is why I am “wasting my time here” preaching sovereingty to you blokes.

          Oh yeah? How’s that been working out for you so far? Feel like you’re getting a good return on investment?

          Reply
      2. jean.naimard

        The english certainly do not like to lose. So that’s why they play dirty in order to win, like in the 1995 referendum, where thousands of people from outside Québec managed to vote, taking advantage of a loophole who was blaringly exposed by Casper Bloom, who got reprimanded by the Directeur Général des Élections for pushing people to rape our democracy.

        Reply
    1. Maria Gatti

      Jean, I find your lack of solidarity and fellow-feeling – not with Power Corp of course but for your fellow workers terribly sad. Those are real people who have to make a living. Moreover, these cuts in working conditions are a huge step backwards for everyone in communications and related fields. I remember the big La Presse strikes – important events in the history of the workers’ movement in Québec.

      Reply
      1. Heather H

        Jean Naimard’s comments are funny. Un autre séparatiste d’une autre époque, incapable de comprendre qu’il est POSSIBLE d’être contre la séparation.

        La Presse vend 200 000 copies par jour. Combiens parmis eux lisent les éditoriaux fédéralistes d’André Pratte? Tu penses réellement qu’un journal est capable à lui seul d’empêcher une population entière à se faire une idée?

        Arrive au 21e siècle, les deux tiers des Québécois n’ont rien à foutre du raddotage séparatiste de victimisation. Tu peux t’en prendre à La Presse, Radio-Canada, le maire Tremblay, à Hérouxville, la Gazette, Star-Académie tant qu’à y être. Le problême, c’est ta mentalité de croit ou crêve! Tellement convaincu de tes dogmes que tu seras jamais capable de comprendre que d’autres pensent autrement.

        Même pu besoin d’être un anglais pour rire de le détresse des séparatistes.

        Reply
        1. jean.naimard

          Chaufferette, tu ne sais pas et tu ne comprendras jamais de quoi tu parles. Alors retourne manger tes crumpets dans ton coin et laisse nous nous occuper de nos affaires.

          Reply
      2. jean.naimard

        Jean, I find your lack of solidarity and fellow-feeling – not with Power Corp of course but for your fellow workers terribly sad. Those are real people who have to make a living. Moreover, these cuts in working conditions are a huge step backwards for everyone in communications and related fields. I remember the big La Presse strikes – important events in the history of the workers’ movement in Québec.

        Why should I care about those who work for a scumbag’s mouthpiece when they have a big honking union that looks after them when I have nobody to look after myself except me??? You see, I happen to have been born in the wrong generation, because the generation that got all the cushy unionized jobs have left nothing but crumbs for us (and the bill for it).
        There is no way I am going to have a job half as cushy as those people have even if I work twice as hard as them.

        Reply
    2. simone M. Foinquinos

      Jean.naimard – Ce n’est pas tres gentil de votre part de vous rejouir du malheur
      des autres. Ce n’est deja pas agreable du tout d’etre licencie et ce n’est pas
      parceque vous l’avez ete plusieurs fois , que vous devez vous rejouir, triste vengeance…..!

      Reply
  4. POOL

    “This is fair use derivative work parody, which although not specifically covered in canadian copyright law, is very legally defensible. Dassin’s heirs would have a hard time squeezing a penny from a court…”

    Thank you for the answer Jean.

    The “parody” defense is indeed as you state inexistant in the Canadian Copyright Act, and only present in the US C.A. This said, if they were parodying the song itself, the defense would have a better chance of getting some traction, but in this case they are using an existing work to parody a third party (a 2nd degree parody), for which they would have a very, very difficult time defending it – as to awards for damages, they would be peanuts, but it would be more a notice to takedown (also inexistant in the Cdn C.A.).

    Regardless, I’m an entirely Copyleft enthusiast, wishing for mashups, remixes, parodies, be they 1, 2nd 3 rd degree etc. to be fully legal.

    My objective was simply to highlight the fact that in this whole debate, the Union has been reticent in allowing uses on different platforms without [substantial] monetary gains, and are absolutely behind the times (as the song demonstrates) – but nonetheless do something that they would consider illegal/illegitimate/shocking if it was done to them.

    It’s a bit like the Lilly Allen/Techdirt hypocrisy moment :
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090922/0310156273.shtml ; http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090923/1409046297.shtml ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL9-esIM2CY

    Reply
    1. jean.naimard

      I still maintain that using Dassin’s song is hardly a reprehensible act and that one will have a hard time having a court agree to that.

      Reply
      1. Jim J.

        You should not feel constrained from graduating from law school, gaining admission to le barreau du Québec, and getting yourself appointed as a judge anytime.

        Reply
  5. SMS

    OK Jean I’ll have a go at it :P

    What should we read instead of La Presse? If I were to guess, I think Le Devoir is your paper of choice. I don’t think you have any love for Péladeau nor his rag Hournal de Mourial!

    Reply
    1. jean.naimard

      Le Devoir is indeed the ideal newspaper. It talks of all the important stuff, and is not extraneously stuffed to the brim with irrelevant advertisements.
      It also is not a reactionnary mouthpiece.
      Hournal de Mourial? That must be in an alternate universe…

      Reply
      1. Jim J.

        “[Le Devoir] also is not a reactionnary mouthpiece.”

        .

        I love it. The language is so completely straight out of the late 1960’s, baby-boomer, Little-Red-Book-inspired, Sir-George-Williams-computer-riot, vanguard-of-the-workers, FLQ-manifesto, socialist utopian dream.

        It’s so quaint, seeing that, even though the world has passed it by in the intervening 40 years.

        Reply
  6. Gilles

    In reply to Jim J; I must state my view of media in Quebec. At the risk of posting an opinion that may have beein seen in a less popular blog article I stated:

    “You must remember that Le Devoir only sells about 35,000 copies per day and at that rate – it is tougher to sustain a newspaper on advertising alone . Its main bag is Quebec nationalism – which the public in Quebec has gobbled up more frequently in the past (at least during election time)-but which is – becoming a harder sell with time.

    What I find most amusing about Le Devoir is its cloaking of an obvious crude nationalism in a kind of fancy intellectual dress. At least Le Journal de Montreal has the balls to let it it all hang out….

    If you don’t believe me – have a look at Lise Payette’s – shallow yet hypocritical piece on the ADQ recounting the roots of the party (from yesterdays edition)… I could not help thinking how appropriate such a title would be in looking at the roots of the Pequiste movement (and it must be said – the PQ itself).

    An even more intellectually dishonest piece yesterday: “L’ethnologue Et La Nation” by Christian Rioux rationalizes xenophobia but in quite an original way – by using quotations from Claude Levi Strauss of all people (oh and out of context too I might add)…..

    If it wasn’t so sad it would be very amusing…..”

    That in effect – as I see it- sums up much of Quebec media today…

    Reply
    1. jean.naimard

      What I find most amusing about Le Devoir is its cloaking of an obvious crude nationalism in a kind of fancy intellectual dress. At least Le Journal de Montreal has the balls to let it it all hang out…. If you don’t believe me – have a look at Lise Payette’s – shallow yet hypocritical piece on the ADQ recounting the roots of the party (from yesterdays edition)… I could not help thinking how appropriate such a title would be in looking at the roots of the Pequiste movement (and it must be said – the PQ itself).

      Hey Ma! Look at what the cat dragged-in!
      Here comes the chaplain of political-correctness, the liberal knight who in his gross cluelessness cannot even hear the big **WHOOOSSSHHHH** of the real situation flying over his head, and leaves the barn door open for all those who don’t dive a darn about the french to barge-in and swamp Québec into oblivion. Even worse, that chaplain may even be french, which shows that he either has not learned a thing from History, or that he has got his fingers in too many anglo-saxon pies, which explain his vested interest in the status-quo (tu m’as bien lu, Gilles. Si t’es français, en parlant comme ça, tu démontre bien que tu es un vendu).
      Just because our nationalism is defensive against anglo-saxon imperialism, it has to be **double-plus ungood**, but let the same anglo-saxons be threatened by “beaners”, “niggers“, “ragheads” or “chinks”, it’s all fine and well if they take measures to protect themselves. The anglo-saxon hypocrite double-standard at work again.
      Here is a guy lamenting that we, the downtrodden french, are taking measures not to be downtrodden again, and that in doing this, are preventing the english from downtrodding us, because in his little bird-brain, he does not understand that being nice and tolerant nearly drove us to extinction at the hands of people who are not very tolerant at all.

      An even more intellectually dishonest piece yesterday: "L’ethnologue Et La Nation" by Christian Rioux rationalizes xenophobia but in quite an original way – by using quotations from Claude Levi Strauss of all people (oh and out of context too I might add)…..

      Talk about dishonesty!!!!
      You may try to fool others into believing that the anglo-saxons are more tolrerant than us, but you won’t fool me the slightest.

      Reply

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