Media Crisis: The Gazette fears for its survival


More than two centuries after its first publication, the Montreal-based daily newspaper The Gazette is afraid of having to consider "draconian" measures if the state does not come to the rescue of the Quebec media.

In addition to being the daily newspaper published since the longest in Quebec, The Gazette is also one of the oldest newspapers in North America, said its editor, Lucinda Chodan, who is also senior vice president of content for its parent company, Postmedia.

Two hundred and forty-one years after its first publication, the English-language newspaper is now struggling to finance its operations, Chodan said.

"More specifically to get enough income to pay professional journalists in our newsroom," she said in committee.

Decreases in revenue

Advertising, which accounted for 80 to 85% of newspaper revenues The GazetteTen years ago, it has since dropped dramatically, Ms. Chodan reported.

"For example, in July 2019, Postmedia reported a 17.6% decrease in print advertising revenue compared to the same period in 2018. This is 17.6% in a single year. That's an alarming change, "she said.

For the past several years, Postmedia, which owns the newspaper The Gazette, also seeks to settle a "huge debt".

In context, "The Gazette has reduced the size of its newsroom four times since I became editor in chief six years ago, "said Ms. Chodan. It is now 50% smaller than in September 2013. "

"If the current trend continues, even more drastic measures will be needed. This could affect publication schedules, the amount of content being proposed as well as the size of the workforce, "Chodan warned.

Like many other distressed media, The Gazette advocates the introduction of a refundable tax credit for the payroll of newsroom employees and the elimination of the contribution to recycling imposed on print media.

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