Local Journalism Initiative: Five years of original civic journalism where it is most needed

February 11, 2024

The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) was started in 2019 by the Department of Canadian Heritage to help create new original civic journalism contents in underserved areas.

We are currently in the last year of the five-year program.

Over the last five years, the portion of the LJI managed by News Media Canada has provided hundreds of publications with the opportunity to receive federal support to produce content that is crucial to their communities. Well over a hundred thousand stories about issues of importance to society have been made available to Canadians across the country.

The Government of Canada has not yet announced whether the program will be renewed.

We at News Media Canada, along with our fellow LJI administrator organizations, have met with government officials and expressed our desire to see the LJI renewed, sharing letters and testimonials from publishers describing the positive impact of the LJI on both the news industry and Canadian communities.

While we wait and hope for word that the LJI will be renewed, there are concerns that a delayed announcement will delay the distribution of much-needed funds. This has also been communicated to the government.

We do hope this important program will continue in the future, but at the moment, we cannot start the renewal process as we did in previous years, simply because we do not know what funds, if any, we will have to distribute.

In the meantime, we are inviting you to tell us if you are interested in applying for renewal of your LJI project. This will be a non-binding expression of interest, and you will still have to submit a formal application if the Local Journalism Initiative is renewed. The survey is not mandatory; however, your participation will help our staff to focus their efforts as they prepare for a possible next application cycle.

Please respond to the short survey at the link below by February 23, 2024.

Should the federal government renew the Local Journalism Initiative, would your publication seek renewal of its LJI project(s)?(Required)
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Thank you for completing this survey. Click the Submit button to end this session.