Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – CRTC begins public consultations on Online Streaming Act

The CRTC’s public consultations on modernizing the broadcast system are officially underway as the commission looks to set up a framework that will re-envision how broadcasters and foreign streamers contribute to the production of Canadian content. The first phase of the consultation proposes the possibility of flexible contribution requirements that would be potentially tailored to individual business models, starting with a base contribution, proposed to apply to all broadcast undertakings. A secondary, flexible financial requirement would see undertakings invest in Canadian programming and/or training and development, while a third component would reflect “intangible” contributions like promotion and discovery of Canadian content, back catalogues, and other company proposals that meet longterm public policy objectives. The second phase of the consultation will look at which online streaming services need to be registered with the CRTC proposing that streamers with annual revenues under $10 million be exempt. Additionally, the definition of Canadian and Indigenous content – and accompanying point system – will also be considered in phase two, anticipated to start this fall. Read more here.

The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) have renewed the National Commercial Agreement (NCA) for another year, pending ratification. The agreement provides an increase in pay and sets out steps toward modernizing and simplifying the agreement through industry-wide consultations that will take place over the next year. A year ago, the ACA and ACTRA entered into an agreement after the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) walked away from negotiations.

 

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy, from the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Centre for Free Expression at Toronto Metropolitan University, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE). Recognized in the law enforcement category for its repeated efforts to block journalists from accessing information, the jury noted the refusal of TPS to provide a journalist with wait time data for 9-1-1 emergency calls from 2017-18 in a simple machine-readable electronic format. Instead, TPS took two years to respond to the request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and when it did provided the journalist with a 1,508-page, non-searchable PDF document. The journalist appealed the denial to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. In May 2022, TPS was ordered to comply with the original request to provide the data electronically.

Image Credit: Alamy

Cision’s latest State of the Media report indicates “accuracy” and “maintaining credibility as a trusted news source” are leading concerns for journalists, particularly with the rise of ChatGPT and other AI-driven applications. Featuring responses from more than 3,100 journalists from 17 global markets, “ensuring content is accurate” was named the top priority by journalists (58%) and was what they perceive as the top priority for their organization (43%). 40% of journalists said they are relying more on data this year.

Rachel Pulfer

Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights in Toronto, is the 2024 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow. She will focus on how human rights journalism can inform and improve policymaking in and for developing countries. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism has selected 24 global journalists for a year of study at Harvard University, with the fellows examining the growing threats to democracy and the free press; the use of AI in reporting; innovations in storytelling; political polarization; solutions journalism; media trust; and journalism collaboration, among other issues.

The RTDNF (Radio Television Digital News Foundation) Canada Scholarship program is accepting applications for more than $16,000 in scholarship money. All applications must have been produced for a school assignment in 2022-23 for a journalism or communications program at a Canadian college or university. There is no fee to apply. Find scholarship details and qualifications here. The deadline to apply is June 19.

RTDNA Canada has announced dates for its upcoming awards programs. Regional Awards finalists will be announced May 25, with winners revealed June 15. National Awards and Best Canadian Local News Awards finalists will be announced in October with the winners named at the Awards Gala at Sheraton Centre Toronto on Oct. 21 during the RTDNA National Conference, Innovate, Elevate, Celebrate: Mapping the Future of News, Oct. 20-21.

The 2023 Webster Awards, celebrating the best of B.C. journalism, are now accepting submissions until July 30. New categories this year include: Best News Reporting of the Year, Excellence in Investigative Journalism, Excellence in Feature Reporting, and Excellence in Arts & Culture Reporting. Stories published June 1, 2022 to May 31st, 2023 are eligible. 

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