CWA Joe Beirne Foundation’s 2018-2019 Scholarship

November 14, 2017

To: CWA Local Presidents

Dear Colleagues:

This is to inform you that we will be announcing the application process for the CWA Joe Beirne Foundation’s scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year.

Attached you will find a copy of the Beirne Foundation scholarship rules, along with a copy of the poster that can be distributed to members and posted on the local websites.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved the awarding of sixteen (16) partial college scholarships of $4,000 each for two years. Eligible for the scholarships are CWA members, their spouses, children and grandchildren, including the dependents of retired, laid-off, or deceased members. Applications will be available solely online for submission on the Foundation’s website at

Please follow this link at for the poster that you can distribute to members and post on local websites to encourage participation. Full program details can be found on the website at: .

This valuable scholarship program is made possible by the funding of CWA locals. For those locals not yet participating in funding the Beirne scholarships, I urge you to do so. Financial arrangements can be made to accommodate your local’s needs.

For more information and assistance, please call 202.434.1320.

In Unity,

Christopher M. Shelton


cc: Executive Board
CWA National Staff


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CWA Canada mourns former leader Arnold Amber


Arnold Amber, a proud, passionate union leader, respected journalist, and fierce defender of free expression, died on Labour Day in a Toronto hospital with family at his bedside. He was 77.

Amber, director of TNG Canada from the time it was created in 1995 until he retired in 2011, shepherded its evolution into CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union.

He earned many accolades and awards over his lengthy career as a CBC newsman, for his devotion to Canadian and international free expression organizations, as a trainer of journalists in emerging democracies, and for his unflagging dedication to improving conditions for all workers, especially those in media.

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, who took over from Amber in 2011, called him “a brilliant man who applied himself with equal discipline and passion to journalism, the labour movement, and defending freedom of the press.”

“All of us who knew Arnold will never forget his intelligence and sense of humour. He could be impatient and crusty, but he had a deeply tender and vulnerable side that made you love him.”

“He would have had some wry crack about what it took for him to miss a Labour Day parade; he marched every year. We’ll miss you old friend.”

Bernie Lunzer, president of the NewsGuild, said “Arnold Amber was of labour, and his passion and defence of it went back to the traditions he learned from his grandmother who worked with textile unions in Montreal. He worked hard on behalf of his peers at CBC and later for all the workers in what is now CWA Canada. As a leader he never forgot where he came from. He was truly a man of substance.”

Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America, said: “From the first time I met Arnold 20 years ago until the last time I saw him a year ago, Arnold demonstrated a constant commitment to the union and to a progressive world. He never gave up fighting for his life despite debilitating disease and he never stopped fighting to build the movement.”

Amber served as president of the CBC branch of the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) through significant periods in the public broadcaster’s history, such as the creation of a single bargaining unit for English-language employees in 2004 and the 50-day lockout the following year.

Prior to joining the CBC, Amber was a Reuters correspondent in Africa and Europe, contributing to leading international newspapers, magazines and broadcasters, as well as working as a media trainer.

In 1994, he led an international team that directed South Africa’s public broadcaster’s coverage of the country’s first democratic elections.

In 2014, the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom presented Amber its Spencer Moore Award for lifetime achievement.

The innovative executive TV producer, who won three Gemini awards for news specials, had a long list of accomplishments. They included:

  • Founder of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. He served as its president for two decades, participating in numerous campaigns in support of journalists in crisis and lobbying for legislation to protect their rights.
  • Helped create the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), which speaks out whenever media workers are victims of harassment, violence and murder. It’s the world’s largest network of free expression advocates, with more than 80 member organizations.
  • Served for six years on the executive of the International Federation of Journalists. He was a member of the IFJ’s select committee that examined transition issues facing media around the world and in 2010 published Journalism: Unions in Touch with the Future.
  • In 2013, he was presented with the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Ottawa, followed by a master’s degree in political studies from Queen’s University, where he later taught and contributed to books on African politics and televised election debates.
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Complaints withdrawn in Halifax dispute; talks to resume

The Halifax Typographical Union and The Chronicle Herald have both withdrawn unfair labour practice complaints related to the year-long work stoppage at the newspaper.

The union that represents 55 striking newsroom workers withdrew its complaint today after the Herald agreed to back away from its bad faith bargaining positions.

“With the Herald changing its position, we have gained everything that we had hoped to achieve through the labour board hearing,” said Ingrid Bulmer, president of the CWA Canada Local. “The hearing became unnecessary.”

The hearing before the Nova Scotia Labour Board was scheduled to begin Monday and continue throughout the entire week.

“We withdrew the complaint to engender bargaining,” Bulmer said. “If the company goes back to its unfair bargaining practices, we reserve the right to refile the complaint.”

The Herald also withdrew its complaint about alleged disclosure of confidential information.

“The Herald accusation did not have any merit and was filed only in retaliation to our complaint,” Bulmer said.

The two sides will return to the bargaining table Tuesday. Bulmer said recent bargaining had been positive and she hopes that continued progress will lead to a deal in the near furture.

– See more at:

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John Belcarz / Dan Zeidler post-secondary education/training memorial scholarships

I am pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the John Belcarz / Dan Zeidler post-secondary education/training memorial scholarships. Two scholarships of $1,000 each are available.

The accompanying attachments contain a poster and application form in English and French (also available on our website: Please circulate this information to your members.
In solidarity,
Martin O’Hanlon
President, CWA/SCA Canada

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CWA Joe Beirne Foundation’s scholarship 2017

Dear Local President,

I am pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the John Belcarz / Dan Zeidler post-secondary education/training memorial scholarships. Two scholarships of $1,000 each are available.

The accompanying attachments contain a poster and application form in English and French (also available on our website:
Please circulate this information to your members.
In solidarity,
Martin O’Hanlon
President, CWA/SCA Canada


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Steve Dempsey: Despite digital, print news may still be publishers’ cash cow

This week saw people celebrating the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee making the world wide web available for worldwide use. Ever since it was invited to the party, the world hasn’t looked back.

Actually that’s not universally true. Some industries might look over their shoulders at a pre-internet era with considerable yearning. And one of them is the newspaper industry.

Most newspapers’ print products have suffered dwindling sales in recent years. At the same time, their digital offerings have yet to turn into cash cows. But despite their inability to create a sustainable online business model, there’s still a wide-standing perception that print is on its last legs and online on the up.

But perhaps the digital future isn’t as bright as initially thought.

‘Reality Check’ is a recent study of multiplatform newspaper readership in the United States. It analyses the online and print readership of 51 American newspapers. The results? Printed news still reaches more readers than online news in the papers’ home markets – even among younger readers. On average, print editions reach 29pc of local adults, with online editions reaching only 10pc.

Iris Chyi, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas, was surprised by the near universal pattern that held true for all the papers examined.

“Without even one exception, all 51 newspapers’ print reach is higher than their online reach,” she says. “Also without a single exception, online edition readers’ propensity [to read] the print edition is higher than the general public’s propensity [to read] the print edition – by a wide margin.”

But there are some quirks. For example, the Washington Post and the Austin American- Statesman were the only publications that have ever reached 20pc of their market through digital channels. “The Washington Post has devoted lots of resources to its online operations since day one,” says Chyi. “So is not a typical metro newspaper site. As for the Austin American-Statesman, I think there are several factors: Austin has been one of the most wired cities in the US; its population consists of a great number of professionals working in the high-tech industry, state government employees, and college students; and the newspaper has also been pretty proactive with its online operations.”

Another interesting quirk is a dip in online news reach since 2011, which may be down to American publishers’ erection of paywalls. But perhaps paywalls aren’t the only culprits.

“Papers with paywalls on average lost 0.9pc of online reach since 2011, while papers without paywalls lost 0.4pc,” says Chyi. “So paywalls seemed to make some difference. But I think the continuous oversupply of information and entertainment online in recent years naturally reduced newspaper sites’ attention share in a hyper-competitive online market. And if you think about it, things can only get worse in the future.”

So it seems that fewer people are getting their news from dedicated news sources. Instead they are getting their news-fix from aggregators and social channels. “News aggregators like Yahoo News have been proven for years as the most important online news destination,” Chyi says. “Most people don’t go to Facebook to seek news but lots of news is certainly consumed on Facebook. Twitter is more ‘newsful’ than Facebook, but it is heavily used by journalists – not the general public. So, yes, increasingly, online audiences are getting their news from major news aggregators and Facebook, not newspaper sites.”

So how should newspaper executives respond to this research? Chyi believes a critical re-examination of unchecked assumptions about the future of newspapers is called for.

“Newspaper executives assumed that print would die because young people hate print, and that by going online, they could reach young readers effectively,” she says. “These assumptions turned out to be so wrong.

“Many newspapers started their digital experiment in the 1990s on a positive note. Then they gradually got lost in the digital jungle. Then, the recession hit and eroded their print revenue stream, leading most to believe that there is no future for print newspapers, so they must try harder to transform digitally. No one ever stopped for a second to review what’s been done and what went wrong.”

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Papers at risk if made to pay Multi-Material BC

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is calling on the province to make the newspaper industryjoin a provincial recycling stewardship program. However, an industry executive says if they are forced to pay proposed fees, a number of papers would have to shut down to meet the costs.

“We simply can not afford the millions of dollars this would cost the newspaper industry,” John Hinds, the CEO ofNewspapers Canada, an industry group, told the Star. “It would put a significant number of newspapers at risk if wewere forced to pay the Multi-Material BC (MMBC) fees as they stand. Look at what happened in Nanaimo andKamloops [where newspapers recently closed]. Look at what is happening around the country.”

The RDCK board passed a motion in February to urge BC’s environment minister to pressure the industry to complywith regulations that require producers of paper and packaging to pay for the recycling of their products.

MMBC is the non-profit stewardship organization tasked with getting BC industries, rather than taxpayers, to pay forrecycling the paper and packaging it produces. MMBC collects, processes, and sells recycled material, and about 1,300producers of paper and packaging in BC pay them to do this. (MMBC collects Nelson’s recycling, but it’s not noticeablebecause the organization contracts the work to the city.)


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