FAQ for News Organizations
I – ABOUT THE LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE
The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) is a national program funded by the Government of Canada to increase local civic journalism in underserved communities. The LJI is administered by seven Administrator Organizations representing different segments of the news media industry. The LJI will provide funding to Canadian media organizations to hire reporters in underserved communities or news deserts across Canada.
Not sure if your news organization is eligible for the Local Journalism Initiative? Click here for a list of Administrator Organizations.
The maximum amount of funding permitted is $60,000 per year, per reporter. This includes the reporter’s salary, mandatory employer-related costs (if applicable—e.g., employer’s contributions to CPP, EI, vacation pay, etc.), and up to 5% of the total for the purchase or lease of equipment required by the reporter to produce civic journalistic content.
When deciding on a grant amount, consider how much you need as well as the typical salary range for a reporter in your local market. The Judging Panel will be taking salary ranges into account when making its funding decisions.
The maximum amount of funding permitted is $60,000 per year, per journalist. Up to 5% of this funding can be used for the purchase or lease of necessary equipment that may be required by the journalist hired through the initiative to produce journalistic content.
When deciding on a grant amount, the Judging Panel will consider the typical salary range for a journalist in the local market.
News Media Canada determines reporter allocations by region using a population-based formula. The formula provides estimates on both the number of reporters and the total amount of funding available in each region. In addition, a number of reporter spots have been reserved for Indigenous media.
II – APPLYING TO THE LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE
English and French daily newspapers, community newspapers, news websites, as well as Indigenous newspapers and news media are eligible to apply for the Local Journalism Initiative at News Media Canada. Other types of news organizations are welcome to contact us to determine their eligibility, or for assistance in identifying which Administrator Organization they should apply to.
To protect the independence of the press, the Government of Canada has appointed seven non-governmental organizations to administer the Local Journalism Initiative on its behalf. These Administrator Organizations represent different segments of the news industry. Review the list and be sure to apply to the organization representing your type of news organization.
|Communities are considered underserved if they are:|
- News deserts: Communities where citizens do not have access to journalistic information about community issues and institutions because there are no daily or community newspapers and other media (for example, community radio or television). Also, if there are other public or private broadcasters, they do not produce local news.
- Areas of “news poverty”: Communities where there is limited access to journalistic content about community issues and institutions through a daily or community newspaper or public or private broadcaster. Available sources of local news — whether a newspaper, a community radio station or other media — demonstrate significant gaps in coverage due to a lack of capacity.
Check our glossary for definitions of underserved communities, news deserts and areas of news poverty.
In the LJI application, publishers are given four options: New hire – full-time; New hire – part-time; Upgrade to full-time; and Freelancer. They can hire reporters as employees, contractors, or freelancers. Most applications have been for new hires, but if a publisher has an existing part-time reporter that they would like to make full-time, they can apply to receive top-up funding for the reporter’s additional hours to produce civic journalism.
Publishers are responsible for hiring and training their LJI reporter. Training on use of the News Portal is available from the Canadian Press.
Applications will be evaluated by an independent panel of experts from the news media industry, who will review applications and additional research provided by NMC staff to verify information in the application, and decide funding allocations.
News Media Canada will notify all applicants of the decision of the Judging Panel.
If your LJI application is approved, you must hire a reporter under contract for a term coinciding with the term of your funding agreement, provide training and supervision, a safe work environment, adhere to your human resource policy, editorial policy, and hiring policy, and adhere to a LJI content production schedule.
III – LJI STORIES, PHOTOS AND OTHER CONTENT
The Canadian Press has developed a content portal (see News Portal) to store and disseminate LJI reporters’ stories including text, photos, audio, video and graphics files. The portal will accommodate both official languages. LJI reporters will have secure access to upload content.
Stories, photos and other content produced by LJI reporters are posted on the News Portal, which is managed by The Canadian Press on behalf of News Media Canada. News organizations can request a user account and password in order to gain access.
Stories, photos and other content produced by LJI reporters can be used by news organizations, regardless of whether they employ an LJI reporter. News organizations will be subject to a Creative Commons licence restricting the use of the content to editorial use only and must commit to adhering to basic journalistic standards.
The intention of the LJI program is to ensure content created under the grants receives the widest possible distribution and is freely shared with other news organizations invested in the creation of Canadian journalism.
LJI reporters should be credited as “[First Name] [Last Name], Local Journalism Initiative Reporter”. If a story or other work of an LJI reporter is incorporated into a new piece of work, then shared credit with other reporters is acceptable.