If there’s a future for local journalism in Canada, it probably looks more like Village Media than like a lot of other models. Digitally native, grounded in basic reporting, using teams of reporters who earn proper salaries and benefits but who incur a lot less overhead than my generation did — it’s already been a rapidly-growing success story for a decade, even as news organizations with pricier business models and older reflexes struggled. Even as it’s been easy to understand why they’ve struggled.
Metroland follows Bell follows Postmedia follows TVA. More will follow. I’m out here selling electrons, and it’s going well, but I’ve got nothing for you about today’s fire or the latest feud at city hall, and that matters too.
Stretching good faith to its limit, I guess it kind of honours the Trudeau government that they’ve tried to stem the tide with Bill C-18, An Act Respecting Online Communications Platforms, which seeks to shift revenue back from global web platforms like Meta and Google to Canadian news organizations. I just think C-18 is a terrible mess, starting with its weird insistence that linking to news stories is somehow the source of the web giants’ hegemony. I mean, I’ve got a lot more problems with this bill and I have since long before it was a bill, but even if I manage to stifle those other objections, I’m stuck with C-18’s bizarre choice of a mechanism.