CMAJ firings symptom of ‘owner chill’

The firings of some editorial staff at the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) is likely the result of the Canadian pandemic of “owner chill” plaguing journalistic independence in this country.

The pharmaceutical industry is a big ship in the ocean of medicine. Did the staff rock that boat?

A letter to the editor of the April 4, 2006, edition of The Gazette,  the student daily newspaper, owned and published by the University Students' Council at the University of Western Ontario, said:

“Late in 2004 the CMAJ announced it would be operating on a for-profit basis and hired Graham Morris to execute this venture. His credentials speak loudly to the publishing business, but not to the problems afflicting health care and the need for critical discourse on the practice of medicine in general. Morris’ controversial position reached a flash point when articles written for the CMAJ were censored directly in November 2005 at the request of CMA chief executive officer Bill Tholl.”

It  was from David Molenhuis, Labour-Solidarity Officer, Western New Democrats.

Owner chill is explained in detail in my presentation to the Senate Transport and Communications Committee.

See Senate Committee hearing transcript.