Commission on the future of news media

Radio-Canada called for a diversity of voices and greater news media collaboration in Canada during its appearance recently before the Quebec National Assembly, as part of consultations on the future of the news industry.

“The crisis shaking the news media is more than just financial,” said Michel Bissonnette, Executive Vice-President of Radio-Canada. “It affects institutions, science and truth, and threatens the very foundations of our democracy. At Radio-Canada, we believe that credible, independent, high-quality journalism is essential to a healthy democratic society. That’s why we are committed to being part of the solution.”

In its submission to the Commission, Radio-Canada suggests a variety of ways for news organizations to work together, such as joint training, expertise sharing, and ad hoc collaborations on investigative stories. Most of all, the public broadcaster reiterated its willingness to explore new collaborative arrangements with other news media.

“With the looming threat of the digital giants, the companies that used to be our competitors must now become our allies,” said Bissonnette. “In a rapidly shifting environment where the competition is global, we have to be creative and support one another.”

Radio-Canada also stated that it was open to potential government assistance for private and community media, provided that such action strictly upholds journalistic independence, the public interest, and the common good. For the public broadcaster, there must be no doubt in the minds of citizens as to the news media’s freedom to do their job, despite receiving some form of public funding or support.

In addition to Michel Bissonnette, Luce Julien, General Manager of News and Current Affairs, Jean François Rioux, General Manager of Regional Services, and Meredith Dellandrea, Regional Director of CBC Quebec, are representing the public broadcaster in Quebec City.

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