News Media Canada’s president and CEO Paul Deegan appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications earlier this week to speak about the importance of seeing passage of the Online News Act before the summer break.
“The unfair, inequitable, and arbitrary imbalance among news publishers the platforms favour and those they don’t demands the passage of this Bill before parliamentarians breaks for the summer,” said Deegan in his opening remarks.
Deegan drew upon the positive impact similar legislation has had in Australia. That country passed legislation called the News Media Bargaining Code, which has seen millions of dollars flow to Australian news outlets of all sizes to support publishers who produce public interest journalism.
Deegan also applauded legislators for working collaboratively to produce a series of amendments to make the legislation more equitable for smaller independent publishers. You can view those amendments by clicking here.
“Our aim is to make sure smaller publishers like the Sarah Holmes of the Gabriola Sounder, Sophie Gaulin of La Liberte, Dave Adsett of the Wellington Advertiser, Benoit Chartier of Le Courrier de Sainte-Hyacinthe, Paul MacNeill from Island Press, and even larger publishers like Pierre-Elliott Levasseur from La Presse, get a deal like the Toronto Star’s,” he said.
Deegan was joined by Levasseur, a News Media Canada board member, during his presentation.