The June 28 announcement from Canadian Heritage of new industry support comes at a critical time and is welcome news for publishers struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. News Media Canada met with Heritage officials to learn more about the department’s plans for this support.
Canada Periodical Fund
Heritage has allocated $10 million to the Aid to Publishers component in 2021-22 to allow a one-time top-up for all eligible periodicals. This follows the 25% emergency top-up in 2020 earlier in the pandemic. This year’s top-up will be distributed among all periodicals currently receiving Aid to Publishers funding in the 2021-22 cycle. With total funding set at $10 million, publishers can expect a top-up of approximately 13% per periodical. Publishers can expect to receive the additional top-up funds in mid-August.
Special Measures for Journalism, Part 2
In 2021-22, Heritage is allocating $21.5 million through the Canada Periodical Fund to assist free, digital and small-circulation magazines and weekly newspapers. Members will recall a similar announcement in July 2020 of $45 million in emergency assistance for free periodicals. With this year’s total funding at half the 2020 allocation, Heritage will be setting a lower funding cap in order to distribute funds as widely as possible. An online application portal will be launched toward the end of September with payments expected to be distributed by late November.
Local Journalism Initiative
Heritage has allocated $10 million over two years (2021-22 and 2022-23) through the Local Journalism Initiative to facilitate the hiring of more journalists in underserved communities. The additional funds will be administered by the Initiative’s designated Administrator Organizations, including News Media Canada. More information will be available about this funding by late July or early August.
Members can view the government’s announcement of these measures here.
News Media Canada will provide further updates to members on each of these measures as they become available. If you have any questions, please contact Tina Ongkeko, Director, Local Journalism Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.