Bearing the Burden of Corporate Restructuring: Job Loss and Precarious Employment in Canadian Journalism

26 March 2019

This article reports on job loss among Canadian journalists between 2012 and 2016. Building on Australian research on the aftermath of job loss in journalism, this article examines the experiences of 197 journalists who were laid off or who took a buyout, voluntarily or not, due to corporate restructuring in Canadian media (both French and English). To date, no scholarly research in Canada has examined what happens to journalists after they are laid off, including the personal and professional experiences journalists undergo when they lose their job and seek a new one, or the implications of these experiences for Canadian journalism in general. Overall, in a result that mirrors laid-off Australian journalists’ experiences of re-employment, we find a dramatic shift among journalists’ employment status and a decline in incomes after job loss. The majority of our survey participants moved from full-time, secure, and well remunerated work to more precarious forms of employment in and out of journalism, including freelance, contract and part-time. This shift in employment status demonstrates underlying precariousness in Canadian journalism. We argue that job loss in journalism has implications for broader social life and for journalism as an institution vital for participation in democratic life.