MédiaMatinQuébec, which has been produced by the workers of the Journal de Québec daily since the lock-out/strike started in April, has handed out its two-millionth copy.
The post contains an article which, though clearly one-sided (Quebecor wants to make as much money as possible — duh), has some insightful criticism of the way they’re gutting regional journalism when, if they really want to compete, they should be doing the opposite.
I’m tempted to compare this labour disruption, now in its third month, to the labour disruption that eventually led to the powerhouse Montreal Star in the 1970s. But the ubiquity of wire services makes me reconsider that conclusion. There are free newspapers out there like 24 Heures and Metro with no or little original reporting. But people still gobble them up.
Maybe that’s the future of media here. Big newspapers that photocopy New York Times features and briefs from Associated Press, and small community weeklies that produce fluff pieces by underpaid young journalists about that 100-year-old grandma and her war stories.
The way things are going, it’s hard not to be cynical.
UPDATE: For those of you curious, here’s a PDF version of a recent issue of the paper. Apparently they’re soon going to be going online. Which sounds great except that this is an unsustainable strike paper with no advertising or subscription revenue and far more staff than it needs.