Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, has outlined details of $14.5 million in funding earmarked to support radio and newspapers serving official-language minority communities.
Announced at the unveiling of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future, the support includes internships for the next generation of media professionals at radio stations and in newsrooms of Francophone and Anglophone minority communities. $4.5 million in funding from Young Canada Works will provide for more than 100 year-long internships over five years, which began to be allocated in September.
The Community Media Strategic Support Fund, with a funding envelope of $10 million over five years, will provide financial assistance for projects that contribute to the maintenance of official-language minority radio and newspapers. As a next step, the Association de la presse francophone, mandated by the Consortium des médias communautaires, will conduct a strategic analysis of the state of the minority press and make recommendations, starting next year.
The Consortium des médias communautaires, a consortium of official-language community media serving Francophone and Anglophone minority populations, brings together the members of the Association de la presse francophone, the Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, and the English Arts Network.
“Our government recognizes that community media is important to the vitality of official-language minority communities,” said Joly in a release. “The next generation of media professionals will benefit from internships while the strategic support fund will support projects that help develop a healthy community media industry. I would like to highlight the invaluable collaboration of the community partners that supported the timely implementation of this important commitment for our government, with the utmost respect for freedom of the press.”
“We applaud the Government of Canada for investing in this initiative. This new program allows young journalists the opportunity to enter the workforce, develop the professional skills needed in the field, as well as strengthen local media, which is is crucial to the continued vitality of our official language communities,” added Sue Duguay, President, la Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française.
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