April 23rd, 2024

Government needs to act to save Canadian journalism


By Letter to the Editor on February 11, 2021.

Editor:
We have a very serious situation in this country, and we are delighted to hear that Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault said on Monday that the government is preparing legislation to force tech giants to fairly compensate content creators.
Google and Facebook, two of the richest companies in history, control the onramp to the internet highway in Canada. They decide what we as a sovereign nation see and don’t see in the news. To make matters worse, they take the news produced by Canadians and don’t pay for it.
Meanwhile, all Canadian news media companies, big and small, are suffering for two reasons:
First, they don’t get paid for their content by Facebook and Google; and second, Facebook and Google take over 80 per cent of all Canadian digital advertising industry revenue. These massive American companies get virtually all of the revenue and don’t pay for content. Movie content doesn’t work that way in Canada. Music content doesn’t work that way. TV show content doesn’t work that way. So why is news content treated differently?
We only have to look south of the border to see what happens when real news companies disappear, and social media platforms distribute divisive, fake news. We need to support healthy, independent, diverse news companies as the backbone of our democracy.
This is urgent. It’s a fact that news companies across Canada are going out of business. COVID-19 is accelerating the decline. Journalism jobs are disappearing. That means real news keeps disappearing and hate and fake news will be all that’s left to distribute. Let’s not let this happen in Canada.
But there is good news. Australia has figured out the solution. They created a law that forces the trillion-dollar monopolies to pay fairly for news content. This costs the taxpayer absolutely nothing.
We encourage all Members of Parliament to move quickly. Canada needs your leadership.
John Hinds
President/CEO
News Media Canada

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biff

as if cdn “journalism” has not already been undermined by monopoly of the big corp agenda. add to the issue the massive over representation of one ethnic/religious group that dominates the “profession” and ownership of the distorted media. so-called official news differs from fake news mostly because the latter is typically unsubstantiated. however, because the former tends to be partial, opaque, orchestrated, biased, yellow, and with far too many events and issues unreported/under reported, it too can be said to be fake. certainly, it is agenda driven.

Southern Albertan

This is why, I find, independent media/journalism, has the guts to call things as they are…refreshingly.

biff

what sources could you suggest? i appreciate harpers, the atlantic, walrus, new republic, various online entries…but in the end, information needs to be vetted via common sense, experience, more information, an open mind, and a willingness to consider contrary viewpoints. i think we can agree that discovering/uncovering truth is quite a taxing process. 🙂