Wednesday , October 20 2021

Local news needs support "now more than ever", says campaign



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With advertising revenue at newspapers fails and the country communities are increasingly at & # 39; risk of losing local news, the time to support journalism is "now more than ever", says professional body representing newspapers in Canada.

News Media Canada hopes to spread that message widely & # 39; during his campaign about Matter Newspapers.


"It is an opportunity for people to reflect on the importance (of newspapers) in their communities, in civic dialogue and civil society b & # 39; generally" explained John Hinds, CEO of News Media Canada. "It is about recognizing that journalists are trained professionals and trained to have a real understanding of the community. They have background, they can do drilling and ask the tough questions. We've our society around we had that role where someone can & # 39; ask the tough questions. "

That civic role is increasingly threatened in Canada, according to a study released this fall by the Public Policy Forum, a think tank. Called Mind-the-gaps: Quantifying the Reduction of news coverage in Canada, studied coverage & # 39; news in & # 39; 20 community across Canada for ten years, and found that the total number of & # 39; articles fell by almost half. The coverage of local and civic affairs councils decreased by & # 39; a third.

Veteran Journalist Sherine Mansour, who teaches at Sheridan College & # 39; Oakville, says the arrival of the internet in the nineties changed the landscape drastically news.

"Almost 20 years ago we saw the internet as an exciting new medium for the exchange and distribution of & # 39; news and information," she said in & # 39; email. "We were right to be excited and we were not naive nirrealizzawx how this new medium was going to destroy many industries including news business."

She said that once the information has become available with & # 39; & # 39 ;, as widely fewer people were interested in paying for content and audiences become fragmented, and advertising was less attractive. Net revenue from advertising in newspapers dropped from $ 3.87 billion in 2007 to $ 2.13 billion in 2016, according to News Media Canada.

"I saw the local news departments skinned with people and whole newspapers close shop," said Mansour, who worked at Global, CHCH, CTV and CHUM on his television career. "It's not an easy time".

In addition to tighter budgets, one of the biggest changes that appeared Mansour is in how people evaluate – or do not assess – local news. "I think the two go hand in & # 39; to understand because if the value & # 39; something for the quality of your life, then you are willing to pay for it."

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