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Google’s Plan to Influence Canadian Journalism with $100 Million Slush Fund

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google's annual developer confer
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages

Google has selected the Canadian Journalism Collective (CJC) to oversee the distribution of $100 million annually to eligible Canadian news organizations.

CBC reports that in a move to comply with the Online News Act, which requires tech companies to enter into agreements with news publishers, Google has chosen the Canadian Journalism Collective (CJC) to manage the distribution of $100 million to Canadian news outlets. The CJC, a federally incorporated non-profit organization founded in May by a group of independent publishers and broadcasters, will be responsible for ensuring that eligible news organizations receive their share of the funds in a fair and transparent manner.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The steering committee of the CJC consists of 12 independent media outlets representing various sectors of the Canadian news ecosystem, including French language, community, and Indigenous news, as well as publications that cater to Black and minority Canadians. Some of the organizations involved in the collective include Pivot, The Resolve, IndigiNews, Village Media, and the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations.

Sadia Zaman, the CJC’s independent board director, expressed the collective’s commitment to distributing the funding inclusively, stating, “We look forward to working with the full diversity of the Canadian news ecosystem, including traditional print and broadcast organizations, and independent local news publishers, including those who serve Indigenous, Black and racialized communities and francophone communities.”

To be eligible for a share of the $100 million, newsrooms must meet certain criteria, such as being designated as qualified Canadian journalism organizations under the Income Tax Act, producing news content of public interest, operating in Canada, and employing at least two journalists. The funds will be distributed proportionately based on the number of full-time journalists employed by each organization.

Small print and digital outlets can expect to receive approximately $17,000 per journalist they employ, according to an official from the Canadian Heritage Department. However, there are caps on the amount of money certain organizations can receive. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) and other broadcasters are limited to a maximum of $7 million and $30 million, respectively, from the annual fund. The remaining $63 million will be shared among other qualifying news outlets, such as newspapers and digital platforms.

The payment of the funds is contingent on Google formally receiving an exemption from the federal broadcast regulator. Google expressed hope that the next steps will be completed quickly, allowing Canadian publishers and journalists to begin receiving the proceeds of this new contribution model soon.

Read more at CBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.

via June 10th 2024