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Unifor recommends nominee for media rescue package panel

May 29, 2019 - 12:00 AM

TORONTO - The union that represents 12,000 journalists and media workers across Canada, has chosen a nominee who will help make recommendations on journalistic practices for the federal government’s rescue package for written media.

“We are pleased to announce today that we are recommending Brad Honywill, a retired journalist and advocate for media workers, who offers his unique and experienced perspective to this panel,” said Unifor National President, Jerry Dias.

Last week, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez invited eight news publishers and journalist organizations to join an independent panel to make recommendations to the government on the regulations to implement the commitments it made to the media sector in the March budget. As the largest media union in Canada, Unifor was selected as one of the four journalist organizations.

Honywill spent 25 years working in Canadian media. He was a City Hall Reporter and Assistant City Editor for nine years at the Toronto Sun and previously worked at the Hamilton Spectator and Windsor Star. He has represented journalists and media workers at various locations – including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun and Toronto Star – as the president of Unifor Local 87-M between 2006 and 2011, and later as a local staff representative. Honywill has also taught journalism and new media to students at Sheridan College and Humber College.

The aid, announced by the government last November, includes a subsidy for newsroom wages, a tax credit for digital subscribers and charitable status for non-profit news organizations.

“Honywill’s breadth of knowledge and familiarity with the working media will provide this panel with the expertise required to answer foundational questions such as ‘what is original news’ and ‘who is an eligible newsroom employee,’ ” said Jake Moore chair of the Unifor Media Council.  “He will not be writing cheques to media organizations, as some politicians have been misleading the public to believe.”

The panel will begin work next month and will complete its job within 30 days. The eight members must reach a consensus on their recommendations. The panel’s final duty will be to recommend the eight members of a second independent panel, which will review applications from organizations seeking to be considered an eligible news organization.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Christina Mitonidis at Christina.Mitonidis@Unifor.org  or at 647-327-9371 (cell).