Today's discussion:

It’s the end of an era for news—the industry can either adapt or die

What Canada desperately needs instead is a multi-pronged, coordinated national strategy based on current economic and market realities that will allow journalism to flourish again.

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The Hub Staff

Peter Menzies offers in this piece potential solutions to the crisis news in Canada is facing, emphasizing the need to adapt. What are your thoughts on the ways news media in Canada can adapt in a digital age?

22nd November 2023 at 8:33 am
Rob Tyrrell

The great news is that there are lots of fellow citizens that want to do quality journalism. As per the article, flawed legacy news media and government need to “get out of the way of those building a future for journalism.”. We are in a delayed transition period due to government picking winners and competing directly via the CBC . They should at least stop making things worse.

Most of the modest measures in the article would facilitate the conditions for a competitive and flourishing news ecosystem (fueled by journalism – investigating, reporting, and sense-making) that serves citizens and our democracy.

Such an ecosystem, without “interference”, will naturally “be digital” so there may be no need to encourage digital mediums specifically via incentives.

22nd November 2023 at 10:19 am

Who gets to define an ‘eligible news organization’?

Only those who support the government or those that do not ‘rock the boat’?

Would news organizations like True North or the Rebel be eligible?
If they and similar news organizations are not eligible then it just becomes another slush fund for ‘do not rock the boat’ opinions.

22nd November 2023 at 9:06 am
Michael F

They would have to be news organizations with credible journalistic standards and not rage farms. Pretty reasonable place to start.

22nd November 2023 at 11:55 am
Peter Menzies

The proposal in the paper is that the industry would set the eligibility criteria.

23rd November 2023 at 12:29 am
Terence Lyndhurst

I generally agree with most of what Peter says, his stance on the CBC needs a bit more nuance but the part of their publicly-funded news production belonging to Canadians is spot-on.

What I disagree with is singling out tech companies for a special levy to support the news. Why don’t they just pay their taxes, like any other good corporate citizen, and we’ll decide what to do with that money – including a journalism fund that supports journalism (not US hedge funds).

22nd November 2023 at 8:50 am
Peter. Menzies

The idea there is to – as much as possible – avoid government being involved in which news organizations get money. That’s a really bad optic that undermines public trust in journalism. And of course taxes would still apply to the companies.

23rd November 2023 at 12:26 am
Gregory Kett

A very interesting and thought-provoking article. It reminds a bit of that old adage: What is the definition of insanity – continuing to do the same things and expecting different results. For me, I want to see the ‘news media’ as a source of accurate news and much less editorializing and personal opinions. And the CBC, well it’s long past time to move on from that. Hopefully Fox Mulder was right and we discover some day that “the truth is out there”.

22nd November 2023 at 7:45 am
Rob Tyrrell

“The Truth”, also known as a reasonable understanding of the world as it is, is out there in plain sight for any that care to find it. It does take some personal curation, as well as the discipline to not get pulled-in to the outrage machines.

22nd November 2023 at 8:28 am
Kim Morton

Three things for certain.
1) taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize poorly run business models dependent on the whims of the government in power.
2) any news outlet that is dependent on government handouts cannot be trusted to report facts.
3) shoddy journalism is not helping news outlets survive. Report the facts, and be certain they are facts.

22nd November 2023 at 10:04 am
Rob Tyrrell

Three things for consideration.
1) Taxpayer funded arms-length corporations should enhance the health of the market space they are in, not detract and/or deflate it.
2) Any news organization that is not first and foremost about the quality of the journalism, should not be trusted.
3) Quality journalism is doing the investigation (uncovering information in the public interest), reporting (communicating the relevant facts as they are reasonably known), and sense-making (providing good faith context and inspiring more questions and ideas).

22nd November 2023 at 2:24 pm
A. Chezzi

“The Future of News series is supported by The Hub’s foundation donors and Meta.” There is a maxim when trying to discern the truth….”follow the money.” The fact that these articles are sponsored by Meta is cause for concern. No company sponsors, supports or aligns itself with a point of view unless it sees something in it for itself. Meta sponsoring the HUB is disappointing and cause for concern because you dance to the tune of the piper and Meta is not so much concerned with news or Canada as it is with profit. It is disconcerting to see the HUB aligned with Meta. Does the HUB mean to adapt at any price?

22nd November 2023 at 8:31 am
The Hub Staff

Hi Chezzi, while they are sponsoring the Future of News series, Meta has had no editorial input or say over what The Hub does or does not write or report.

22nd November 2023 at 5:37 pm
Michael F

Don’t forget The Hub was founded and receives ongoing funding from an Alberta family foundation that comes from oil money. That same foundation also donates to other conservative think tanks like the Fraser Institute and the McDonald Laurier Institute. It is clearly stated on their website they do not support “anti fossil fuel initiatives”.

22nd November 2023 at 12:05 pm
Sam Herbert

I sure hope “THE HUB” does not consider itself NEWS…the Hub is mostly friggin’ propaganda garbage…The Hub is just ‘The Rebel, The Stun , and True North’ using bigger words (better thesaurus skills). No Balance!

22nd November 2023 at 8:31 am
Kim Morton

Well done komrade. Spoken like a true denier of reality.

22nd November 2023 at 10:10 am
Rob Tyrrell

“News” is not one thing, but an amalgam of investigation, reporting, and sense-making (other categories?). As per my previous comment, The Hub seems to be only doing the sense-making piece, although doing it very well with an acknowledged conservative perspective.

Comparing The Hub to the entities that you listed is like grouping broccoli, cotton candy, soda pop, and chocolate bars as “food”. That is, wrong and disingenuous.

22nd November 2023 at 8:39 am
Michael F

I think it goes well beyond an ‘acknowledged conservative perspective’ at times sadly. I had hoped for more reasonable debate of the issues of the day and less partisan rancour. There is a glaring lack of balance and nuance in many of the articles here. They poke fun of the Globe and Star in their banner ads but never the Post or Sun. Why is that? I guess it’s not surprising when many of the articles are authored by people who were employed by Post Media and Sun Media.

Some of the recent pieces about the events in Gaza resemble reguritated Israeli PR releases at best and outright propaganda at worst.

22nd November 2023 at 12:15 pm
Rob Tyrrell

Healthy democracies cannot endure without healthy journalism (investigation, reporting, AND sense-making). The SERVICE of healthy journalism is not much of a money-making endeavor. Therefore, society must fund it, ideally through their governments, but increasingly via individual citizens to the intrepid and dedicated small organizations doing the work (examples: CanadaLand nationally and Halifax Examiner locally). Note, The Hub seems to be only doing the sense-making piece, although doing it very well with an acknowledged conservative perspective.

As far as the CBC News goes, the investigative side of journalism should be the focus, carved off, funded independently, treated as a public good, and the resulting content made available free to commercial enterprises. It is the journalism work that matters, not the manner it is served to citizens, but that it is available and received by citizens.

I look forward to reading other responses!

22nd November 2023 at 8:09 am
Kim Morton

I’m with you to a point on CBC. The problem is that CBC has a very strong left wing bias. To the point of being editorial content, not news. How do we ensure that a bunch of civil servants provide non biased reporting?

22nd November 2023 at 10:08 am
Rob Tyrrell

The CBC does have a progressive bias. It is an emergent property of the people there so changing it means changing the composition of the people. Presumably the editorial staff could tamp obvious bias down in their process. Bias, regardless of the flavor, is very human, and often insidious. Note, they are not civil servants.

22nd November 2023 at 3:19 pm
The Hub Staff

Hi Rob, we would love to make reporting and original news gathering a much bigger part of our operation, but we are a small team and that requires us to grow first to get to that point. That being said, do check out the reporting we do put out under the Dispatches tab on our homepage. Thanks for your support.

22nd November 2023 at 5:41 pm

If it had not been for CBC Radio we would have been very much cut off from what was happening in Canada. We get no Canadian FM stations, never have. Only thing that we could receive reliably was CBC Radio on AM from 500 kilometers away. This is still the case today, not counting satellite radio. CBC Radio may have outlived the usefulness it had in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, though I still listen t some of their content on Sirius.
Commercial entities will not and cannot service remote rural regions. No radio not television, not newspapers, and only the poorest of internet company services and those come via satellite.
Of course deep rural areas are completely forgotten in all of the editorials and diatribes about media services, we are used to it.

22nd November 2023 at 8:32 pm
mike hearns

if the liberal media weren’t so biased I might support them but alas they are so I’m not. going to have a party to celebrate the coming layoffs for all the “journalists”.

22nd November 2023 at 1:14 pm
Gary Oxenforth

For a couple of yrs now I have subscribed to on-line news outlets . It is the wave of our time now.Why do we keep flogging the CBC as it is a DEAD horse. You tube is another source if you want to believe in different naratives.In my 82 yrs I find that people believe what they want to believe.

22nd November 2023 at 9:22 am
Rob Tyrrell

Journalism organizations (i.e. news outlets) are all online. The CBC in online. Lots are internet natives. The medium, internet, is just that, a medium. It happens to be a very low cost, ubiquitous, and far reaching medium, which makes it the primary medium going forward.

What is meant by CBC being a “dead horse”?

YouTube is a source in the way that someone speaking through a megaphone in a public space is a source; in all the ways…good, bad, and ugly.

Certainly too many people primarily believe what they want, or need, to believe. It is one of our default primal settings.

22nd November 2023 at 3:08 pm
Mike Eastveld

I find it difficult to believe that any federal gov’t will be able to resist the temptation to colour any legislation with their political beliefs. The present regime is trying to write laws for business with no valid business focus. Each party will tilt the playing field to reflect their biased. Only if a gov’t takes a “hand-off” approach can we hope for a publicly acceptable level of trust . Doubtful.

22nd November 2023 at 8:05 am

of course, more American style.

22nd November 2023 at 12:37 pm

Some of us grew up and lived in parts of Canada where city newspapers were never a thing. We lived much too distant. If they were mailed to us, which was very expensive, they would be 3 or 4 days old or more. We had no access to these papers unless we happened to make the long trek to the city and had a notion to buy a newspaper. For us a newspaper was not part of our culture or our daily routine. Weekly or monthly newspapers did find their way to us. Of course these papers died long before the daily city newspapers did. And it wasn’t the internet that killed them they were on their way out before that.

22nd November 2023 at 8:23 pm
Ian Malcomson

Not sure there is anything to replace the CBC with respect to offering a decent national and regional perspective without a one-sided ideological bent. A private sector model would only promote a very narrow take on the news. My recommendation to Poilievre is leave it alone if he doesn’t want to dismantle the nation.

22nd November 2023 at 7:49 pm
David Smith

Sure, Harper was able to show better figures than Trudeau. Being a disciple of Friedrich Hayek, showing deficits were anathema, so Harper sold anything that he could easily flog, like our embassies, the Wheat Board. So many things were sold to US-owned corporations, like the rights to our Veterans Affairs records. So much more.

Of course after Harper, we owned a lot less. And in the end, we had a $200 billion deficit.

And where is this great Canadian living a lot of his life? In Houston, Texas. “Living in the Land of the Free”

22nd November 2023 at 7:48 pm
Peter Sircom Bromley

As the centuries-old business model for journalism collapses, a new one emerges. As the dust repeatedly gathers and settles, we are left to figure things out for ourselves.

When Russia launched its Special Military Operation, and when Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, I did not just listen to the the news, because in both cases, I knew I would get a one-sided historically misinformed narrative. I would hear about good guys, not hear about the bad guys, and have my ears bleed from the latest escalation of yet another intractable cultural conflict. So I went online and researched the history of Russia and Ukraine and the history of Israel and Palestine. I can say that I now understand what’s going on (for lack of a better term) – in far greater depth and detail than if I relied on a traditional news network.

In the face of all this (warring tribes, misinformation, etc., etc.), the inevitable question arises: what can governments be expected to do? Not much. Governments have little or no capacity to deal with the entrenched and fanatically defended assumptions that guide social and economic policy. Governments govern. They are committed to managing prevailing narratives. They don’t see past the veil and they don’t innovate.

So with respect to the future of journalism, we will just have to fend for ourselves and see what happens.

22nd November 2023 at 2:08 pm
Mary Grande

Very interesting and thoughtful proposals by the author. Not sure how achievable though.
His position on CBC is too nuanced. CBC no longer has a right or place in Canadian news. They are a public broadcaster aligned politically, showing almost complete disregard for truth or factual reporting.
Let them sink or survive on how much the public wants to contribute to keep them alive.

22nd November 2023 at 12:28 pm
Peter Menzies

I’ve written in more detail on the CBC in the past – it alone could be the subject of an entire paper – but for the purpose of this article kept it to the issues that have greatest impact on the industry ecosystem. Happy to expand that discussion.

23rd November 2023 at 12:54 am
David Wright

The days of needing a state funded new agency is gone by the dodo. I understand radio news needing to get to remote communities but we’ve now come to a time when internet is available in more regions. Private funded journalism bring competition and will up the level of competency. I for one read so little of what is out there because of its government influence or bias.

22nd November 2023 at 12:25 pm
Richard Courtemanche

Whatever keeps misinforming should die.

22nd November 2023 at 12:12 pm
Colin Duffy

Meta doesn’t want news on its platform – it algorithmically de-boosts news everywhere because news is toxic to engagement.

The premise that Meta should be paying news outlets for their alleged benefit to the platform is… misinformed.

Google might get some benefit from news content, but it’s hardly key to the business model. I’d expect other methods of wealth extraction to go as well as the Online News Act is.

22nd November 2023 at 11:08 am
Michael F

News is toxic to engagement? It’s news articles on Facebook that had the most engagement.

22nd November 2023 at 12:22 pm

I’m sorry, what’s a CBC?

22nd November 2023 at 8:09 am