Leger research conducted in mid-September, indicates nearly half of Canadians (47%) have seen changes in their online feed since Meta blocked news content in response to Bill C-18, with that proportion higher among those who mainly get their news via social media (59%) and Quebecors (54%). Leger also found that 66% of Canadians think that news should be free and accessible to anyone, while 34% think Bill C-18 is a good thing since news media are struggling. Those who mainly get their news via social media are more likely (75%) to think that news should be free and accessible to anyone. Leger’s research indicates 59% of Canadians believe Meta should lift its current ban on Canadian news on its platforms. Since news has been blocked on Meta platforms, 22% said they are turning more to radio and television, and 20% to free media websites and applications to access news content. Only 6% of Canadians say they would pay for a subscription to access news directly.
T.O. Webfest presented 37 awards at its Gala Awards ceremony, with Less Than Kosher, produced by Laura Nordin and Emily Andrews and created by Shaina Silver-Baird and Michael Goldlist, winning the festival’s Grand Prize, as well as Best Comedy, Best Writing (Silver-Baird and Goldlist) and Best Actor (Shaina Silver-Baird). Honouring the best in short form series, over 40 web series producers and crew took part in the peer group judging process to select the nominees and winners. With 15 nominations, Season 2 of Chateau Laurier won Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor (Emmanuel Kabongo) and Best Costume Design (Melissa Bessey). Also with three awards, Top Dogs: Vengeance was recognized as Best French Canadian series for producer Vincent Chabot, while the award for Best English Canadian series went to Streams Flow from a River from Fae Pictures’ Shant Joshi, Abdul Malik, and Linsay Blair Goeldner. Toronto’s Headspinner Productions (Michelle Melanson and Ken Cuperus) is the only company to win for two different series: Best Animated Series: Gisele’s Mashup Adventures, and Best Childrens’ Series (12 and under) for Happy House of Frightenstein (Season 2).