$600 million in tax credits and incentives over the next five years to help the struggling Canadian media industry. That’s what the federal government says. However, in reality, the feds are stepping in to help the struggling newspaper industry. These measures are to help support journalism in Canada and newspapers don’t really consider radio news, where our people write and report the stories of the day via audio rather than in print, as real journalism. Maybe it’s because news and sports and commentary are part of what we do but not the only things we do, I ‘m not really sure. The full details of this $600 million dollar program won’t be known until the next federal budget after the government receives advice from an independent panel from the news industry. It will be interesting to observe the makeup of that panel. I’ll be surprised to find anyone from the broadcast industry on it. I could be wrong but it seems pretty clear that when our finance minister says the government wants to protect “the vital role that independent news media play in our democracy and our communities”, he is talking about print, not broadcasting, even though they say the aim is to help news organizations struggling to adapt to a digital age that has disrupted traditional business models. We, too, are having to adapt in some ways due to the influence of social media, and perhaps there will be some relief for radio and tv journalistic endeavours in that $600 million, but somehow I doubt it.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.