Employees who rescued a local TV station in Victoria won the first J-Source Journalism Integrity Award. J-Source editor-in-chief Janice Neil asked CHEK news director Rob Germain about the employee takeover and how the station has changed since.
The employees of Victoria-based CHEK NEWS were the winners of the first J-Source Journalism Integrity Award.
When faced with a shutdown announcement from the station’s owner, Canwest Global, the employees pulled together and developed a takeover plan. J-Source editor-in-chief Janice Neil called the fight to save the station “formidable” in the announcement about the award.
After learning of the station’s Integrity Award win, Victoria-based CHEK news director Rob Germain sat for a telephone interview with Neil to discuss the takeover and the goals of the station now that it is in new hands. Germain called the award “an honour” and went on to explain the changes at CHEK.
“There is less of a management/union type of mentality and instead we’re
all owners, we’re all working together to try and make the best product
that we possibly can.,” he said. “You have to have sort of an arms length approach to the way you make
editorial decisions. There are some in the community that
have expectations that we’re automatically going to be covering their
event or their news story that they are proposing because they
supported us. We still have to be impartial and unbiased in that
regard. We can’t let that infringe on our
decision-making. However, we do feel a responsibility, as we always
have, to the community.”