With the combination of proposed changes from FRIENDS, Canada’s news bargaining code will help further protect and promote Canadian journalism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 18, 2022 – FRIENDS is calling on parliamentarians to adopt measures to strengthen C-18, The Online News Act. FRIENDS has proposed measures to ensure that the CBC remains free from political interference and to increase transparency around agreements between online platforms and Canadian news media outlets.
“Canadians have a right to know how online platforms are compensating news outlets,” said FRIENDS’ Executive Director, Marla Boltman. Based on the current language of the bill, agreements made under the Act are subject to certain transparency requirements. Agreements made leading up to the passing of the bill are not. “If we want to eliminate concerns about the potential influence of online platforms over the journalistic and editorial independence of our news outlets, we need to shine a light on existing deals shrouded by nondisclosure agreements,” added Boltman.
Like the Australian news bargaining code, the CBC is included as an eligible news media outlet, but the existing language of the bill provides Cabinet with powers they do not currently hold with respect to CBC’s parliamentary appropriation. “The public broadcaster should be treated the same as any other broadcaster covered under the Online News Act,” added Boltman.”It is vital that we uphold the CBC’s independence at every opportunity and not leave it vulnerable to attacks from those who wish to discredit it.”
FRIENDS has also proposed amendments to the bill to ensure a timely path to arbitration if the online platforms refuse to reach a reasonable deal with the Canadian news outlets. “With the combination of our proposed changes to the legislation, we believe that Canada’s news bargaining code will help further protect and promote Canadian journalism,” added Boltman.
FRIENDS is a grassroots movement that stands up for Canadian voices, in public broadcasting, news media and culture. A strong CBC, fearless journalism, and our shared story make us who we are. But if our stories disappear, so do we. That’s why FRIENDS conducts leading-edge policy and opinion research on issues affecting Canadian culture and media, and works tirelessly so that Ottawa understands that millions of Canadians demand our government restores our public broadcaster, defends Canadian
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