By Alejandra Fretes
The CBC announced their latest plan on Thursday to continue downsizing due to the $115 million budget cut from the government – they’re eliminating 144 news jobs across Canada.
They’re also cutting an additional 100 jobs from Radio-Canada.
CEO and CBC President Hubert Lacroix announced the upcoming strategy for the following five years, which is to trim roughly 25 per cent of all jobs by 2020, resulting in an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 jobs lost.
“Layoffs and cutbacks always have a negative effect on the ability of news organizations to do their job and cover the news as well as they would like,” said Dan Rowe, bachelor of journalism program coordinator at Humber College Lakeshore Campus.
“Without knowing who exactly will be laid off, it is very difficult to imagine how this won’t effect the depth and breadth of the journalism that the CBC does,” he said.
But the Canadian broadcaster plans on creating 80 new digital positions to improve their online presence.
“From what I’ve been reading, our budget has dropped. Our revenues have dropped. We may be pushing mobile and digital, but it’s easier for international news to be spread online. I’m afraid of our local news suffering, such as city-specific exclusives that won’t be as easy to find widespread,” said Marielle Torrefranca, an editorial assistant at the CBC.
“Layoffs and cutbacks always have a negative effect on the ability of news organizations to do their job” – Rowe
The CBC has strong ties with Humber College, providing students with opportunities for internships, with the hope of being hired on afterward.
“Journalism programs across North America are suffering because of the layoffs in the industry. I think, though, that there are opportunities for journalists, they are just different then they were 15 years ago when I was in journalism school,” said Rowe.
Humber College provides hands on training in both broadcasting and print, as well as innovative online courses.
“I personally need to be realistic about what my options are after I leave here. There aren’t a lot of jobs for young journalists,” said Patricia Chan, a third-year journalism student specializing in broadcasting at Humber.
“I’m concerned, but I’m also highly adaptable and this program has taught me to be highly adaptable. But I’m also willing to work my ass off in any opportunity I get,” she said.
Rowe said that given all the cutbacks and rise of branded content, strong journalism education is more essential than ever before.