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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Canada’s print media is set to receive nearly two-thirds of the annual Can$100 million (US$75 million) payment pledged by Google to the nation’s news outlets.

The announcement, made by the federal government on Friday, follows months of negotiations culminating in a “historic” agreement aimed at compensating Canadian media companies for lost advertising revenue.

Under the terms of the agreement, television and radio outlets will receive a capped share of 30 percent, with CBC/Radio-Canada, the Canadian public broadcaster, allocated seven percent. The lion’s share, totaling 63 percent, is designated for the written press. According to a federal official, this distribution reflects the heavy reliance of print media on online platforms for content dissemination.

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge hailed the agreement as a historic achievement, emphasizing the critical role of journalism in democracy and acknowledging the ongoing crisis faced by newsrooms.

The pact between Canada and Google is integral to the Online News Act, a legislative effort aimed at bolstering the struggling Canadian news sector, which has witnessed a decline in advertising revenue and the closure of numerous publications over the past decade. The Online News Act is scheduled to take effect on Tuesday.

While Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is also impacted by the new legislation, it remains at odds with the text, labeling it “fundamentally flawed.” Notably, Facebook and Instagram have blocked news content in Canada since August 1, a move intended to circumvent the obligation to compensate media companies.

The financial struggles of many Canadian media outlets have been exacerbated in recent weeks, with several organizations announcing layoff plans. The collaboration between Canada and Google signals a proactive step towards shoring up the country’s news sector in the face of industry challenges.

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