An industry study says Canada’s media gatekeepers are overpaid and undervalued, and that they’re being underpaid to keep the country’s digital media alive.
The Canadian Media Association released a report Thursday detailing the top 10 gifts to the industry that the industry receives.
It’s a far cry from the time when the organization, based in Toronto, was the go-to source for information on the media and entertainment industries.
But the report is notable because it’s the first time the industry has made the top five gifts list, as opposed to one of the three most-generous, and for the first year, it’s in the top three.
The five gifts are listed in descending order of how much the industry gets in return, with each giving the average industry member more than $2,000.
“It’s been a big year for the industry and a good one for the government,” said Bill Brown, the group’s executive director, adding that the government has been a huge factor in the industry’s growth.
“We are seeing the government support the industry in so many different ways.”
The gift of $2.5 million to the CMA is the biggest, followed by $1 million from the Ontario government and $1.5 billion from the federal government.
Other notable gifts include $2 million from a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) advisory board, $2 billion from Ontario, $500 million from Quebec, and $300 million from Nova Scotia.
The CMA says it will be using the money to expand and modernize its media portal, as well as to hire more staff.
Last year, the CRTC awarded the industry $1 billion to fund a project that will create an information hub on its website, a platform for information about media, and the creation of a public-private partnership for media.
It’s part of a larger media funding package that the CRTF awarded the media industry in 2016.
However, the CBA says the money will only come from the public purse.
“The money we get is from the Crown,” Brown said.
“If we’re not going to put money in the pockets of Canadians, how are we going to provide it to our media?”
The report says the government is also giving away $500,000 to help the industry expand its website to better reflect the diversity of Canadians and to support the creation and expansion of digital media.
The money will go toward an effort to create a website that includes a range of topics, including topics like “cultural, political and social issues,” and the CRT is giving away a $500-a-month contract for the creation.
The CRTC says the site will also include an app for Canadians to share and access content on a range on its platform, as part of its ongoing commitment to creating a platform that supports the diversity and inclusion of Canadians.
“The CRTC has been supportive of the media,” Brown told the Star.
“It’s also important that we have a fair and transparent process that helps people understand what’s going on in the media.”
He added that it was important to keep in mind that the media gateways have “an important role” to play in helping Canadians understand the diversity in their communities and the challenges they face.
“That’s a very important part of the job, to help Canadians understand that, and then also help the media do the right thing.”