Ottawa – The National Campus and Community Radio Association/l’Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires (“NCRA/ANREC”) has thrown its support behind We Choose, a campaign sponsored by the watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting. Canadians support and understand the need for vibrant Canadian media and worry about the scourge of misinformation delivered by social media. FRIENDS’ We Choose campaign is putting that support on the political map as the federal election approaches.
“Our political leaders need to know that voters strongly support public service broadcasting, especially local services, and understand the indispensable role of local voices in our democracy. FRIENDS recognizes that our member stations deliver a vital public service. That’s why we are supporting this essential campaign,” says NCRA/ANREC Executive Director Barry Rooke. “We will be encouraging our members and supporters to participate in FRIENDS’ campaign in any way they can,” says Rooke.
FRIENDS is distributing We Choose Canada, We Choose CBC and We Choose Canadian Journalism lawn signs in 22 battleground ridings to demonstrate the full extent to which voters will support policies – and politicians – that strengthen public service broadcasters and all Canadian media. Volunteers in these ridings are taking the campaign to community events and are also briefing candidates one on one.
“We are extremely pleased that the NCRA has thrown its support behind this campaign,” says FRIENDS Executive Director Daniel Bernhard. “The NCRA represents a very important group of public service broadcasters who help to keep our democracy alive and our communities connected in increasingly difficult conditions. Canada needs this campaign to succeed, and with the NCRA on board, our prospects for success have markedly improved.”
Canadian journalism is gravely endangered. During the past ten years, thousands of journalists have been laid off. 250 media outlets have closed, many in small- and medium-sized communities with few alternative sources of news and information. Meanwhile, CBC/Radio-Canada remains one of the most poorly funded public broadcasters in the developed world.
“Our democracy needs more journalists and local media,” says Daniel Bernhard, Executive Director of FRIENDS. “It’s time for Ottawa to support our media and end the special treatment that gives foreign media giants like Facebook and Google an unfair advantage over our own media.”
The federal government has acknowledged the journalism crisis. But Ottawa’s bailout package is grossly inadequate compared to the magnitude of the problem. And it does nothing to deal with the root source of the problem: the flight of advertising revenue to foreign digital publishers which Canadian tax policy actively encourages. This major oversight has been noted by the journalism organizations asked by the federal government to help design the bailout program.
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is a non-partisan watchdog group supported by 364,000 Canadians that works to keep Canadian story-telling and journalism strong on air and online.
The National Campus and Community Radio Association/L'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires (“NCRA/ANREC”) is a not-for-profit national association working to recognize, support, and encourage volunteer-based, non-profit, public-access campus, community and native radio broadcasters in Canada. Our goals are to ensure stability and support for individual stations, and to promote the long-term growth and effectiveness of the sector. More than 100 campus and community radio stations across the country belong to the association.
FRIENDS Contact: Jim Thompson [email protected] 613-447-9592
NCRA/ANREC Contact: Barry Rooke, [email protected] 613-321-1440