Transat Supports Canadian Journalism With $500K Donation To Le Devoir
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Transat has made a major donation of $500,000 to Quebec newspaper Le Devoir to help fund costly foreign correspondence.
At the initiative of co-founder and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache, Transat has decided to support the independent Le Devoir in the lasting development of its offering of international news. Transat will donate $100,000 a year for five years to the Fonds de journalisme international Transat – Le Devoir (Transat/Le Devoir international journalism fund).
"This support reflects our resolve to help people travel the globe and discover the world sustainably, and that belief has been a Transat value for over 30 years now," explains Eustache. "In all of our endeavours, whether commercial or philanthropic, we are committed to supporting not only our own communities but also those of our destinations."
The Fund will enable Le Devoir reporters and contributors to engage in foreign correspondence, an activity increasingly difficult for revenue-challenged newspapers due to its high cost.
Funds will be used to defray the fixed costs inherent in producing original international news, notably the travel, accommodation and logistical expenses incurred by reporters on the road abroad. Journalist's salaries and commissions will continue to be assumed by Le Devoir.
"Transat's donation will enable us to appreciably increase the scope of Le Devoir's foreign coverage," says Devoir editor-in-chief Brian Myles, "for the greater benefit of its writers and readers. The Fund is neither a sponsorship nor an advertising investment. Naturally, the agreement that ties Transat to LeDevoir guarantees full editorial freedom and total independence as to the choice of topics and their treatment."
At a time when media corporations are busy reinventing their business models to counter frenzied competition from giants of the digital economy, Transat's donation is important.
"The media are an essential bastion of democracy," says Eustache. "And I firmly believe that we have to do our utmost to preserve what little is left of our conventional press, because it is indeed threatened.
"For me, contributing to a fund that will enable Le Devoir journalists to report from foreign locations is key to helping our fellow citizens understand major international issues. I sincerely hope that this five-year agreement will enable Le Devoir to open some horizons for Quebecers and enable them to discover the world with the same passion we have at Transat," Eustache says.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.