Published on Tue, 04/14/2020 by News Media Canada | Médias d'Info Canada

News Media Canada announces more Local Journalism Initiative host news organizations, seeks applications for short-term projects

TORONTO --/COMMUNITYWIRE/-- News Media Canada today announced it will fund an additional 63 journalists at 53 host news organizations under the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.

This second round of journalists brings the total number of Local Journalism Initiative reporters across the country to 168.

News Media Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) program provides funding to grant recipients to hire reporters to create new journalistic content covering civic issues and institutions of importance to Canadians.  Eligible applicants included press agencies, private news organizations, and non-profit news organizations. For a full list of grant recipients, click here.

In total, the LJI judging panel approved funding for:

  • 9 journalists for Indigenous media;
  • 16 journalists in British Columbia;
  • 29 journalists in the Prairies;
  • 69 journalists in Ontario;
  • 27 journalists in Quebec;
  • 16 journalists in the Atlantic provinces; and,
  • 2 journalists in the Territories.

Stories produced by LJI reporters are made available to media organizations and the public via an online portal managed by The Canadian Press.

“We feel the Local Journalism Initiative is needed more than ever as news organizations are facing increased pressure from the COVID-19 crisis,” said John Hinds, president and CEO of News Media Canada. “It is becoming clear, now that we can see the published content, that the Local Journalism Initiative is making a significant contribution to the industry and helps strengthen civic journalism across Canada.”

Call for Applications for Short-Term Projects

Applications are being sought for short term projects, including freelance and contract positions from Quebec French media, English media from the rest of Canada, and Indigenous media across the country. All projects in this round should be completed by March 31, 2021. 

Print and digital news media are eligible to apply for funding to News Media Canada.  Applications are due on April 22, 2020.   More specifically, and considering previous grant allocations, the program is looking for approximately 37 positions, including:

  • 5 in British Columbia;
  • 4 in the Prairies;
  • 2 in Ontario;
  • 17 in Quebec; and,
  • 9 for Indigenous Media—that is, media published by and for Indigenous communities, anywhere in Canada.

Created and funded by the Government of Canada, the Local Journalism Initiative is a five-year program that supports the creation of original civic journalism relevant to the diverse needs of people living in news deserts and areas of news poverty across Canada.  Areas of “news poverty” are communities where there is limited access to journalistic content about community issues and institutions through a daily or community newspaper or public or private broadcaster. Available sources of local news — whether a newspaper, a community radio station or other media — demonstrate significant gaps in coverage due to a lack of capacity.  News Media Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative program is open to English, French, and Indigenous print and online media across Canada. News media interested in applying can do so at: https://nmc-mic.ca/lji/news-organizations/apply/

The Initiative will provide funding for host newsrooms to hire reporters, supporting accurate and reliable civic journalism in underserved communities. Local Journalism Initiative coverage will help ensure the vitality of democracy, better inform citizens, engage community and foster civic debate, connecting Canadians with their local governments, in their councils, courts and other civic institutions. For more information, visit www.localjournalisminitiative.ca.

About News Media Canada

News Media Canada is the voice of the print and digital news media industry in Canada and represents hundreds of trusted titles in every province and territory. News Media Canada is an advocate in public policy for daily and community media outlets and contributes to the ongoing evolution of the news media industry by raising awareness and promoting the benefits of news media across all platforms. For more information, visit our website at www.newsmediacanada.ca or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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For more information, please contact:

Tina Ongkeko, Director, Local Journalism Initiative
tongkeko@newsmediacanada.ca

Christian Dognon, Program Officer, Local Journalism Initiative
lji@newsmediacanada.ca