News Media Canada to fund 55 additional reporters through the Local Journalism Initiative

News Media Canada is pleased to announce an increase in funds for its Local Journalism Initiative program. The funds, confirmed by the Department of Canadian Heritage, will be for the 2023-2024 cycle of the Initiative and will enable the association to fund at least 55 more reporter positions across Canada.

The much-needed funds come as the news media industry continues to struggle post-COVID and as News Media Canada assesses a new batch of applications from print and digital news media outlets for the coming year. Added to its previous estimate of 98 reporter positions, the association will now be able to fund over 150 positions. This number is expected to be even higher when considering the different types of projects that are eligible, including projects for full-time, part-time, freelance and short-term work.

Now entering its final year, the five-year Local Journalism Initiative was created by the Government of Canada in 2019 to support the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire journalists or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for underserved communities. The content produced is made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed.

Projects funded by News Media Canada’s LJI program produce a variety of news content on a wide range of local civic issues, including standard daily news stories, longer-form in-depth features, and investigative reporting.

Decisions on the current batch of applications will be made by News Media Canada’s LJI judging panel in the coming weeks.

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