Public Policy Forum supports new proposal to bolster quality journalism for Canadians

06/16/2017

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Public Policy Forum supports new proposal to bolster quality journalism for Canadians

Ottawa, June 16, 2017 – The Public Policy Forum (PPF) welcomes a new proposal to extend and rename the longstanding Canadian Periodical Fund to provide funding to a wider array of organizations whose primary focus is creating essential, civic-function journalism that Canadians – and their democracy – rely on.

The PPF was pleased to facilitate and work with an unprecedented coalition of more than 30 news publishers, unions and other parties that came together over three meetings in April, May and June to develop the Canadian Journalism Fund (CJF).

The CJF proposal is built on principles and proposals laid out in The Shattered Mirror, the PPF’s landmark January 2017 report on news, democracy and trust in Canada. Specifically, the PPF is pleased to see that the CJF proposal supports these key principles and attributes:

  • More ‘boots on the ground’: Good journalism needs reporters engaged in original newsgathering, and the CJF proposal rewards editorial employment, not reductions.
  • Support for local and civic-function news, threatened by the severe pressures on the traditional business model for publishers, is essential to help Canadians in all regions remain democratically informed and engaged.
  • The levelling of the playing field for the creation of journalism in Canada, specifically that news publishers will also have access to support alongside those regulated by the CRTC or funded by the government and that news will not be disadvantaged vis-a-vis other forms of expression.
  • The CJF embraces a wide array of news creators, news services and digital news innovators, not only established publishers.
  • An emphasis on digital innovation as the only route to create a stable base for news.
  • The proposal commits the industry to direct Canadian Journalism Fund editorial rebates to the creation of journalism and not other corporate uses.
  • The CJF is pre-programmed, removing government discretion from who is eligible or not. Support flows based on significant and regular investment in Canadian civic journalism. Editorial independence remains core.

The PPF held three workshops, in April, May and June, that brought together in the same room a wide array of competing publishers from every region of the country, large and small publishers, digital-only publishers and union representatives.

“That such a broad coalition could be assembled and could move forward to a coherent proposal is quite an achievement,” said Edward Greenspon, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum and lead writer of the Shattered Mirror report. “Nobody desires government support for the industry, but if the deterioration of robust reporting of news vital to our democracy is to be halted, a response with the lightest possible government touch is required.”

The PPF continues to track and research the state of journalism in Canada, believing that an informed citizenry is essential for a thriving democracy.

ABOUT THE PPF

The Public Policy Forum works with all levels of government and the public service, the private sector, Indigenous groups, labour, post-secondary institutions and NGOs to improve policy outcomes for Canadians. As a non-partisan, member-based organization, we work from "inclusion to conclusion," by convening discussions on fundamental policy issues and by identifying new paths forward. For 30 years, the PPF has broken down barriers among sectors, contributing to meaningful change that builds a better Canada.

For more information & media inquiries

Carl Neustaedter

Director of Communications
Public Policy Forum
CNeustaedter@ppforum.ca
613.238.7858 ext. 286
Mobile: 613.866.7210

For more information, visit www.ppforum.ca or follow us on Twitter: @ppforumca