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Web site launch March 2004
News Release

CanWest Watchdogs'
Welcome Message

Concerned?
What YOU can do
CWA-SCA Canada logo
Although this web site was created and is run by CWA Canada, one of the country's largest media unions, this site is not an attempt to organize workers. Rather, we hope to organize an effective opposition to the increasing domination of our media by a declining number of owners, as well as any relaxing of regulations that would permit more foreign ownership and control of our media.

WHAT We Are

Your Media is a gathering place and a rallying point for those who cherish Freedom of Expression. Acting individually or together, we can expose unethical media owners who use their considerable powers to further their personal or corporate interests.

Utilizing the world's only remaining (for now ...) free medium, we will support, encourage and embolden the elected, the appointed and the decision-makers to act in the public interest.

Your Media — as the only forum through which demoralized media professionals can, without risking their jobs, communicate with readers and viewers — connects "providers" with "consumers" and fosters enlightenment. Together, we can pressure media moguls to restore staffing levels and to re-invest in necessary resources to restore OUR media to the quality LOCAL products they once were.

Who WE Are

WE includes YOU, if you agree with Your Media's objectives and use the web site to monitor the situation or to get involved.

WE are media employees. WE are media consumers: readers, viewers, listeners. WE are academics. WE are managers. WE are the rank and file. WE are the employed, unemployed, retired. WE are the cowed, the gagged, the silenced, the threatened. WE are the contrary or minority voices denied a public platform. WE are people who want to be informed, through fair, objective and principled reporting.


What YOU can do

We invite you to participate in the development and evolution of this site by contributing complaints, observations, comments, photographs, suggested links and other appropriate material.

Your contributions will help us build the files on all of Canada's media empires. We will collect, edit and distribute the material to the appropriate pages in the web site.

Visit the Show & Tell page for guidelines on submissions. This is also the page that provides you with logos should you choose to help us spread the word about the Your Media web site.

If you are a media employee who wants to reveal what's happening behind closed doors, we have created a safe method for you to contribute to Your Media. Using a Submit Form leaves no email trail to tip off corporate snoops and we are able to protect a contributor's identity.

enMASSE logo

Your Media has set up an e-Activist centre that makes it a breeze to:

Receive email alerts from Your Media about major developments on the media convergence front;

Send messages to decision-makers about media ownership issues;

Tell friends and colleagues about Your Media and all of its features.

CanWest Watchdogs' Welcome Message

This site was created by CWA Canada (formerly TNG Canada), one of Canada's largest media unions with about 10,000 members, to provide:

  • a primer on CanWest Global Communications; and

  • a clearinghouse for news, information and views about this Canadian media giant's worrisome corporate policies and actions.

In the next weeks and months, we expect to add diverse perspectives from CanWest employees, newspaper readers and TV viewers, anyone concerned about CanWest's well-documented aversion to the free expression of views which differ from those of its proprietors, the Asper family.

We invite you to participate. With your help this site will grow and evolve.

Please provide your own examples and perspectives on what is going on with the CanWest newspapers, and in particular the dramatic drop in local coverage evident since newsroom cuts were implemented in August 2003.

The identical invitation goes out to members of our fellow media unions (CEP, GCIU, etc.) at CanWest papers and Global TV, and of course to workers at non-unionized CanWest operations, especially those in Winnipeg and Toronto. We promise anonymity if requested.


In the words of Leonard Asper, CanWest's president and CEO:

"The media must be held accountable, just as they purport to hold others accountable."

"Respond to bias when you see it."

"Demand informed, objective and accurate reporting."

In many cases, CanWest is serving up something other than this ideal to readers and viewers across the nation, simultaneously working with vigour to quell any expressions of internal dissent.

"What we're seeing now (in the CanWest newspapers) is not broad views of the world but rather self-serving views, which seem to be in concert with (the Aspers') economic and political interests." — Journalism Prof. Cameron Young, University of Victoria.

We must hold CanWest accountable to local communities, readers and viewers across Canada and, most of all, to the democratic values a responsible mass media should uphold to foster free expression and diversity of opinion. We must fight any attempt to suppress these principles and twist the public agenda to serve private corporate interests.

Disclaimer

Your Media is in no way connected to, supported or financed by,
any of the media empires examined in this web site.

The Your Media web site is a production of CWA Canada
in co-operation with The Newspaper Guild.

CWA-SCA Canada logo

We are media unions dedicated to placing media conglomerates under scrutiny
and calling on those corporations to improve service to their constituents
and to act in the public interest.


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