Public Policy Forum report recommends tax measures, changes to CBC’s business model
by Susan Delacourt
Thursday January 26th, 2016
Days after Canada’s largest newspaper chain announced a fresh round of layoffs, the federal government is being handed a dozen options today to help fix the ailing news media business in Canada — ranging from taking digital ads off the CBC to injecting funds into local, indigenous and investigative journalism.
The recommendations come in a new report from the Public Policy Forum, tasked by the government to look into concrete measures to stem the sharp decline of the journalism industry.
Titled “The Shattered Mirror,” the report makes abundantly clear that journalism’s public function is nearing a crisis point, beset by everything from the digital disruption of its crumbling, 20th-century business model to “fake news.”
“This slide may not produce the kind of crisis point that stops policy-makers in their tracks, as the implosion of the auto industry in 2008-09 did, but the pace is unrelenting and the downward slope ever deeper,” the report states.
Half of the 12 recommendations are aimed at injecting “economic sustainability” into Canadian journalism, mainly through tax or legislative measures and the establishment of a “future of journalism and democracy fund,” with a startup investment of $100 million.
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