A message from Bob Cox, Chair of the Board, News Media Canada
Journalism isn’t free.
The sharing of news has become free. But journalism itself isn’t free. So how do we monetize an evolving model? What’s clear is that no one has solved that riddle, yet. The industry needs more time. We’re doing everything we can from a business perspective to leverage partnerships, explore new revenue opportunities, invest effort in new innovations as well as cutting expenses and managing debt – all while preserving as much journalism as we can.
Empowered citizens, instant communication platforms and the proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices have all helped to facilitate the sharing of anything, with anyone, anytime – fake or otherwise. Citizen journalism and social media have added a new depth to instantaneous coverage but they cannot stand alone. Canadian stories, with distinctly Canadian voices cannot be told from countries away or in limited characters or for only the length that their entertainment value lasts.
A country as spread out and diverse as Canada is, needs career journalists to cover the stories that might otherwise go unreported. Covered by people whose job it is to find and tell these stories, relay them with a mandate to tell the truth, follow the story and hold public officials accountable. Stories told by those with access and expertise, who are not anonymous and are themselves accountable for every fact they report, comment they publish and who base their careers on these principles. These are the professionals who have been doing the investigative work, reporting, analysis and commentary paid for by newspaper organizations but used for free by radio and television for decades and now innumerable social media feeds.
We are all working on solutions and exploring business models that can find new ways to sustain the critical function of Canadian journalism. To keep as many feet on the streets of our local communities and the steps of town halls and at annual meetings, in courtrooms, playoffs and gold medal games.
In an unprecedented show of strength our membership has come together to ask the government to modernize the existing Canadian Periodical Fund to address the current issues and crisis facing the dissemination of Canadian perspectives. To help allay the costs of always-on journalism and covering critical issues to give the industry more time to innovate and navigate ways through this challenge to preserve our distinctly Canadian voices.
We will continue to advocate for our industry and encourage you to do the same. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments. To see the full text of our proposal along with some background visit the News Media Canada website.