How To Fix Canadian News Media, The Neil Before Zod Method.

  1. Take any media bailout money and use it to fully fund the CBC, especially CBC News. This will take the CBC out of the advertising market, giving a bigger piece of the advertising pie to the other news and media organizations. Take the CBC out of direct competition with other news organizations in certain areas – like Opinion. I have written extensively on what I feel the problems and solutions at the CBC are. My theory is that once we remove advertising from the CBC, the news division will not feel the need to compete with the cycle of sensationalism that other news organizations are falling prey to to remain relevant. CBC News can return to it’s core mandate of providing news first instead of competing.
  2. No media bailout. Why is the federal government going to subsidize news organizations with failing or obsolete business models. I say let the free market that Post Media papers have been calling for, reign supreme. If you do not have a good enough product or provide the news services people require, you do not deserve to stay in business. I say let the dinosaurs die, and see what remains.
  3. If we are going to give a financial incentive to news organizations make it in the form of tax subsidies for subscriptions, and make sure that includes news organizations that raise money through Patreon, or new methods of buying subscriptions. That takes the government out of deciding who gets money and how. People are more likely to pay for journalism if they receive a tax deduction. It also gives choice to the public. Win win.
  4. Canada needs a form of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) specific to journalism. The Canadian Association of Journalists is not adequately enforcing its standards and ethics code. If you are going to qualify for the subscription tax subsidy you must join. An organization that establishes standards for journalism that its members agree to maintain. Create a set of industry codes that cover issues such as ethics, honesty, equitable portrayal, and journalistic practices. Have a defined complaint process and ensure that the penalties for violating the code have teeth, and with adequate enforcement. Trust in our news media has to be re-established. That will take time.

These are just a few ideas. Canadian journalism needs a fix, and throwing new money at old problems isn’t going to do it. We need to find new ways of thinking to meet challenges faced by journalists and news organizations in Canada. The old ways are dead.


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