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From pay cuts to layoffs, print reductions to closures, thousands across the industry are hit hard by the pandemic


More than 100 media outlets in Canada have made cuts in 11 provinces and territories in a six-week period, with nearly 50 community newspapers shuttering. Upwards of 2,000 workers have been laid off.

Everything from local journalism outlets to broadcasting, independent papers and community radio have seen dramatic shifts as the coronavirus pandemic precipitates a slow-motion crash across the news business.

The moment municipalities in Canada went under lockdown, reports of labour and coverage cuts started to snowball.

COVID-19 Media Impact Map for Canada — a joint project of J-Source, the Local News Research Project at Ryerson’s School of Journalism and the Canadian Association of Journalists — collates available data on cuts across the country based on news articles and worker accounts confirmed by our own reporting. The map and a fact sheet summarizing the data are prepared by the LNRP principal investigator April Lindgren and project research assistant Christina Wong.

What we found won’t surprise many who have been following the news. Still, the constellation of cuts is sobering. While these data aren’t absolute – our project will be updated regularly – we do know that at local and hyperlocal levels, the pandemic is accelerating what some are describing as a mass extinction event.