Sunday, July 04, 2010

Canadian Press, a 93-year-old co-op, is to be privatized by its three biggest members

In what is being presented publicly as a victory, but is really a defeat, Canadian Press is now being privatized by its biggest stakeholders. Torstar, CTV Globemedia and Gesca Ltee (owners respectively of the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and La Presse) have agreed to become equal partners in a for-profit entity to be called Canadian Press Enterprises, according to a story in the Globe
With this outcome, largely driven by the defection of the bankrupt CanWest Media in mid-2007 and Sun Media in March 2009, comes to an end a noble and important venture as the not-for-profit co-op has apparently proved unsustainable. 
It essentially closes a barn door through which the cows have long since exited and may provide a solution to a problem, but is less and less relevant in the age of shrinking news holes and struggling print. It's not a unique situation -- the AP in the U.S. (which syndicates CP copy, and vice-versa) -- is in turmoil, too. This privatization decision is of marginal importance to magazines, granted. But it is lamentable for everyone who values collaborative news-sharing in this country. RIP CP.



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