THE NEWS MEDIA are about to get help from the taxpayer — it’s help they neither deserve nor need.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau this week announced $600 million over the next five years in tax credits and incentives that will “protect the vital role that independent news media play in our democracy.”
There’s no question about the vital role played by mainstream media. Despite an unprecedented skepticism and sometimes genuine dislike of the media by the public, a free and professional media has never been more important.
Since the demise of the Kamloops Daily News, there’s been a major gap in the community information stream. But the sad death of the KDN is only symptomatic of the general anemia afflicting media across the country.
Still, we get the media we want. If we don’t want to pay to have a daily newspaper delivered to our doorstep, the paper goes bust. If advertisers aren’t interested in buying air time on radio and TV, newsrooms are the first thing that gets cut.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.