Tag Archives: Journal de Québec

Journal de Québec: only the beginning

The locked-out/on-strike workers at the Journal de Québec are getting money for the long-term. The FTQ’s mining union has offered a $750,000 interest-free loan, and other donations bring the figure they have to work with close to a million. The union, which is giddy over the extra money, now has a war chest to take this into the long haul.

The Journal has been producing mostly wire copy and Journal de Montréal stories since the labour disruption began in April.

MédiaMatinQuébec hits two million

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.

Le Soleil: We don’t outsource (wink, wink)

Oh snap: Quebec City’s Le Soleil is not pulling any punches in its campaign to steal as many readers as possible from the Journal de Québec, whose workers are on the street and whose content is being generated elsewhere.

Perhaps this will make both sides realize that no matter how this goes, the real winner will be their competition.

Speaking of the workers, they’re calling a one-day boycott of the Journal a success without any evidence it was followed or made an impact.

More media drama at the Journal de Québec

As the Quebecor-owned newspaper’s workers are still locked out of their offices and producing an alternative free paper, journalists at its sister paper the Journal de Montréal are asking their bosses not to publish their stories in the Journal de Québec. Meanwhile, a media snipe-fest is going on as TVA pulled ads for Le Soleil which trumpeted it as “le vrai journal de Québec” in an effort to win over some readers.

Could the Journal de Québec be the next Montreal Star? Or does the pervasiveness of wire services make local journalists truly obsolete?

So what does management do, anyway?

The locked-out workers at the Journal de Québec have started their own newspaper, MédiaMatinQuébec, using the talents of the temporarily unemployed journalists and other staff to create 40,000 copies a day and distribute them freely, while the Journal tries to run its paper with a skeleton management staff.

I must say, it’s hard not to be impressed by this. Continuing to report is one thing, but actually printing and distributing another newspaper isn’t an easy task.

The group hasn’t yet setup a website, though the mediamatinquebec.com domain has been reserved. If this lockout goes on longer we might see something similar to the CBC lockout campaign that workers put on, with podcasts and other special reporting from all over the country.

Perhaps the thing this demonstrates most, though, is that these people are probably worth the $50-100,000 their paid to do their jobs (even though I’d kill for such a salary), and that the people who seem most dispensable in all of this are the managers left behind.