New fund backs local programming
"No excuse to close stations or reduce local programming," says media union.
OTTAWA, June 19, 2009 — Broadcasters will no longer have any excuse to close stations or reduce local news programming as a result of the all-party recommendations from the House of Commons Heritage Committee, says Canada's largest media union. "These recommendations give the CRTC clear directions to ensure that local news is part of the obligation of media companies engaged in the Canadian broadcasting system. It is now the CRTC's responsibility to act on these directions," said Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.
Mr Murdoch said the increased funding proposed for the Local Programming Improvement Fund is a good first step, but the real answer is fee for carriage. MPs clearly understood that while this issue is thorny, it should not be left to backroom negotiations by big media shareholders: Canadians' interests must be fully represented and protected.
Mr Murdoch praised the Committee for calling on the LPIF to be an accountable and transparent mechanism that will add to existing local program spending, and for requiring broadcasters to account for their use of its funds.
As one of Canada's largest unions, with more than 150,000 members in Canadian broadcasting, telecommunications, energy, print and forestry companies, CEP appeared before the Committee this past spring. It emphasized the importance of news and information to our democracy, and recommended that any new mechanisms established to support local TV be open, transparent and accountable to Canadians.
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UP TO CRTC NOW SAYS CEP, by CEP, June 19 2009
Posted: July 02, 2009
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