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Death threats. Toxic workplaces. Being followed home. Doxxing.

These are some on-the-job abuses journalists face routinely.

Unifor’s Media Council took place Oct. 28 to 30 at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ont. The focus was on harassment – online and in the field – and its impact on media workers and the supports the union are developing, such as the helpishere website.

“Our members are really stretched thin and stuck in these toxic workplaces and in some cases, their mental health is really suffering,” said Media Council Chairperson Jennifer Moreau. “In some extreme cases, journalists have left the industry.”

The turning point for Canadian journalists was when People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier urged his supporters to “play dirty” with journalists in Oct. 2021, Moreau said.

“When I hear stories about our members, who are cornered on their way to work or people too afraid to have their company’s decals on their vehicles, I feel it’s only a matter of time before something really serious is going to happen and someone gets hurt. And it’s getting worse,” she said.

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