ontario news watch

Google signs deal with organization to distribute $100M to Canadian news companies

OTTAWA — Google announced today it has selected an organization to distribute the $100 million the tech giant has promised to Canadian news companies.

The Canadian Journalism Collective will be responsible for ensuring eligible news organizations get their share of the money.

The collective is a federally incorporated non-profit organization that was created for this purpose, and was founded by a group of independent publishers and broadcasters.

The steering committee is made up of 12 independent media outlets that represent French language, community and Indigenous news, and publications that specifically represent Black and minority Canadians.

Some of the organizations include Pivot, The Resolve, IndigiNews, Village Media and the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations.

Google agreed to pay Canadian news publishers $100 million annually, indexed to inflation, in order to be exempt from the Online News Act, which compels tech companies to enter into agreements with news publishers.

It’s unclear when eligible news businesses will receive the cash.

But the payment is contingent on Google formally receiving an exemption from the federal broadcast regulator.

Earlier this year, Google put out an open call to news organizations that wish to receive compensation under the Online News Act, and about 1,500 outlets applied for the cash.

The collective will review all news publishers that responded to the open call, and distribute the funds to publishers that meet the criteria.

The money will be distributed proportionately based on how many full time-journalists the companies employ.

In order for news businesses to be eligible, they must have at least two full-time employees and meet other criteria under the Online News Act.

Small print and digital outlets can expect to receive about $17,000 per journalist that they employ, an official with the Canadian Heritage Department has said.

The Liberal government has previously put a cap on how much money the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and other broadcasters can get.

CBC/Radio-Canada will get no more than a $7-million share of the annual fund, and $30 million at most will be reserved for other broadcasters.

The other $63 million will be shared among other qualifying news outlets, such as newspapers and digital platforms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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