Tell the Senate: Stand up for public trust in news media
The Canadian news sector is facing extinction. For years, foreign tech giants like Google and Facebook have been funding their platforms by selling ads alongside Canadian news content, hoarding the profits it generates without paying a single cent in return. For their part, Canadian news outlets have been left decimated, their advertising revenues dwindling by the day. Meanwhile, strong and credible journalism is rapidly being replaced by misinformation and distrust in the news media.
In fact, trust in the media is at an all-time low.
Bill C-18, The Online News Act, is a step in the right direction. This new legislation would finally compel online platforms to pay their fair share for Canadian news content.
But as written, this bill allows the agreements between Canadian news outlets and foreign big tech to largely remain in the dark, potentially opening the door for the likes of Google and Facebook to exert undue editorial influence. This would only deepen the crisis of confidence in our news media sector.
For credible journalism to persist in Canada, and remain a cornerstone of our democracy, it is imperative that we retain public trust in our news media.
That is why FRIENDS is advocating for public disclosure requirements in Bill C-18. Basic public knowledge of which platforms compensate which news outlets, to what extent and in what way, is the best safeguard to prevent any inappropriate influence.
Tell the Senate to support FRIENDS' amendments to Bill C-18 and stand up for public trust in news media. Write to senators today!
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I am writing to you because, as a member of the Canadian Senate, you hold the future of Canadian journalism in your hands. As you know, our news sector is on the verge of extinction. Daily papers have been shuttering at an alarming rate and local news has practically disappeared. Strong and credible journalism is being replaced by misinformation and distrust of the news media.
The Online News Act is a golden opportunity to ensure that companies like Google and Facebook pay their fair share for Canadian news content. But as written, this bill's lack of public disclosure requirements could open the door for foreign big tech companies to exert undue influence over the journalistic and editorial independence of Canadian publishers, which would only deepen the crisis of confidence in our news media sector.
Canadians have a right to know which platforms compensate which news organizations, to what extent and in what way. It's a matter of public trust.
That is why, as a supporter of FRIENDS, I am calling on you to adopt their key amendments and ensure that C-18 contains public disclosure requirements.