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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coffee Break ! Canada's freelance writers organize to demand government bailout

Our stalwart Ian Harvey of Pit Bull Media has the story:
Toronto, On Dec 12 - The Canadian Writers Alliance today presented its case to the federal government for a $100 million assistance package.

“With the auto sector, banks, technology and manufacturing generally lining up we didn’t want to be left behind,” said John Scribble, interim president of the CWA, an umbrella group which includes several writers’ groups across Canada. “They’re asking for billions of dollars, we’re only asking for a few bucks.”

He said writers’ pay rates haven’t increased since the 1970s and that the print sector has been hit hard by the recession and changes in the marketplace. Shifting to online writing hasn’t helped because there’s no money in it, he said.
“And writing those doom and gloom headlines day after day, well, it’s gut wrenching for those who have to do it. They need support and counseling.”
The story hinges on the testimony of one Toronto hack, Scribble:
Scribble said he hasn’t actually got the support of organization like Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Canadian Writers Guild and others but felt compelled to act quickly.

“We had an emergency meeting at the pub and after only two rounds there was consensus,” he said.
I'll just bet there was. Don't cheat yourself. Read the whole thing here.

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