We’ve heard a lot about the crisis in local news as small community papers have closed down and local tv newscasts removed and replaced with big city casts. Most radio stations haven’t had local news content for a long time, and there is some doubt that online news will fill the gap. As a result, small communities in particular are being abandoned and are becoming news deserts.
A new $50 million local news fund has been announced by the Federal Government but it’s taking a long time to roll out. It’s far less than the $350 million that newspaper publishers were pushing for, and the $50 million only amounts to $10 per year over five years.
The Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) is an organization that has been lobbying the federal government to establish non-profit community media centres. CACTUS' position is that community media should be given some of the money to develop capacity for communities to tell their own stories.
Cathy Edwards is the Executive Director of CACTUS. Victoria Fenner spoke to her a couple of weeks ago at her home in Gatineau.
Disclosure: Victoria Fenner is a member of CACTUS.
Image: Broadcast Tower in Cambridge Bay Nunavut. Victoria Fenner, 2003.
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