March 26, 2020

Opinion: When will the money flow,
Mr. Trudeau?

Box Cox, Winnipeg Free Press
This is an op-ed written by News Media Canada chair Bob Cox. It appeared in today's Winnipeg Free Press.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lied to the country.

That’s not an easy thing to write about the most visible authority figure trying to inform and keep the nation calm during a worldwide pandemic.

But he did. “Right now it’s more important than ever that Canadians have access to the latest news and information,” Trudeau said during his daily news conference on Wednesday.

“To ensure that journalists can continue to do this vital work, our government is announcing new measures to support them.”

Then his government re-announced measures to support journalism that were first announced a year ago that have been mismanaged and delayed and to date have provided zero dollars to news outlets.

There was nothing new. No new support. Nothing to help journalists do the essential work the prime minister said they are doing. In fact, there was not even a promise to fix problems with the existing programs that have all but stalled them.

Let’s be clear. Journalists may be doing essential work, but the COVID-19 restrictions now in place could kill the businesses behind news outlets in general and newspapers specifically. A lot of our revenues depend on advertising, which has disappeared as businesses shutter and events are cancelled.
facebook twitter linkedin