Unifor stands with journalists and independent news organizations on World News Day – Sept. 28, 2022 – a day where many recognize the importance of fact-based journalism.
The rise of misinformation and the acute lack of funding for quality local news is leading Canada to a crossroads. As a country, we can choose to fund and value local news and the work of journalists, or face the consequences caused by fake news and unreliable information spread on social media.
Fact-based news is an integral part of a healthy democracy, and it must be defended and adequately funded.
The tremendous financial pressures placed on news organizations by the rise of the American tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, have severely reduced Canadians’ access to local news. News deserts in Canada, which are large geographical areas without any local news, are continuing to expand. This creates a perfect storm for misinformation to prosper. Unifor will continue to champion the survival of Canada’s local news outlets and to call for the protection of the rights of media workers.
Journalists are facing increased attacks and threats online and on assignment. Unifor, as the union representing more than 10,000 media workers, will continue to combat violence and hate directed at journalists on many levels. Our union will continue to do this through education initiatives, collective bargaining, lobby efforts and direct support for journalists. We recognize that while abuse can happen to anyone, women, Indigenous, LGTBQ+ and journalists of colour are disproportionally affected.
Journalists in Canada follow a code of journalist ethics that ensures the news Canadians consume is based on five principles: accuracy, fairness, independence, integrity and respect. While the pressures on truth and facts are indisputable, journalists continue to hold the powerful to account and tell our stories. These stories are essential to our daily lives, our collective community and our democracy. Today, we recognize our challenges and remind ourselves of the work ahead to foster and protect our news industry.
Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 310,000 members across Canada working in 20 economic sectors. Our union represents more than 10,000 media workers, including journalists in the broadcast and print news industry.