CAJ, News Media Canada among organizations to decide how media bailout is spent

Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez has named the organizations that will help decide which news organizations get a share of $595 million in tax credits and other incentives to prop up the struggling media sector.

As outlined in Budget 2019, the fund excludes broadcast media, trade or specialty publications, and by definition essentially favours traditional print outlets.

Rodriguez announced Wednesday that he’s invited eight associations to form an independent panel of experts from the Canadian journalism sector to assist the government in implementing the new measures, including recommending eligibility criteria.

Those associations are News Media Canada, the Association de la presse francophone, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Unifor and the Fédération nationale des communications.

A release from Canadian Heritage says these associations were chosen because they represent the majority of Canadian news media publishers and journalists.

“The independent panel of experts will be able to consider the views of third parties, including industry stakeholders. In this way, Minister Rodriguez is also ensuring a wide variety of independent advice is provided,” states the release.

The mandate of the independent panel of experts will come into effect with the appointment of the panel, which is planned for mid-June. The panel is expected to provide its recommendations to the minister later in July. It’s anticipated the first funds from the journalism incentive will be paid out in 2019–20.


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