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By Christopher CheungTheTyee.ca, Dec. 16

Between 2016 and 2021, B.C. had a net loss of 185 news reporters and columnists, according to the latest census.

The data on the Canadian workforce, released last month, paints a picture of the state of the media industry, which is tricky to measure in numbers.

Media unions collect some information on membership, buyouts and layoffs. For example, the country’s largest media union, the Canadian Media Guild, counted a gross loss of over 14,000 newsroom jobs between 2008 and 2016.

What the census offers online is three decades worth of data on journalists, defined as reporters and columnists. While this excludes editors and photojournalists, the data offers a helpful glimpse at how the media industry is doing during a time of monopolization and digital upheaval.

According to Unifor Local 2000, which represents employees at B.C. newspapers such as the Vancouver Sun and the Province, their count of reporters saw a height of about 155 members in 2001, which dropped to 40 in 2021. As for editors, there was a height of about 318 in 2001, which dropped to 69 in 2021.

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