The Canadian Media Guild is calling for innovative, “smart” policies that will accommodate changing technology while ensuring the production of quality journalism and original Canadian programming is a priority. Canadians want and deserve access to news, arts and culture produced here, and the opportunity to work in Canada in these fields on any platform.
In a submission filed Thursday for the Canadian Heritage review of Canada’s media and cultural policies, CMG outlined its views for a vibrant media and cultural ecosystem that includes a mix of public, private and community media, with space for diverse views, and a real possibility of career opportunities for future generations.
“What’s at stake is our ability to create and tell our stories, to each other and to the world, in an evolving and fragmented media environment,” said Carmel Smyth, president of the Canadian Media Guild. “This review is an opportunity to look at the cultural and employment needs of Canadians, to preserve what’s working, and to find new ways of ensuring that all Canadians will share in the benefits of this significant industry.
We believe in the basic tenet that those who profit from this industry in Canada must also contribute to it.”
Highlights of CMG proposals include:
-Many elements that underlie the current media and cultural policies in Canada remain relevant and important, and must be maintained. They include a healthy, diverse mix of public, private and community media.
-It’s time to level the playing field with technology-inclusive policies that bring all players inside the regulated system, ensuring they contribute their fair share to help support journalism and production of original Canadian content on all platforms.
-As a news organization and major cultural institution, CBC/Radio-Canada is an invaluable public asset that provides vital service to Canadians regardless of where they live and how they access it. Strengthening the public broadcaster with guaranteed independent governance and adequate funding is crucial.
-Set up the Public Service Media Fund (PSMF) to support local news. The Fund should be accessible – based on clearly defined criteria – to public and provincial or educational media such as TVO and TFO, broadcasters representing unique voices such as APTN, and independent local news providers on any platform.