Thursday 22 July 2010

Feds funding

Sun Media newspapers pummelled by Quebecor staff cuts and cutbacks are receiving federal community newspaper grants and a TSF tipster calls it "an absolute joke."

"Not sure if you'd be interested in this news of funding for 'community' newspapers in Huron-Bruce, where PKP has completely gutted newsrooms, sent layout to Barrie, closed a press and left long-time, dedicated production people out of jobs," says the tipster.

"There were other newspapers, including two independents and three Metroland, in the area to receive money as well, but to make it easy I only left in the Sun ones."

Community newspaper funding announced by Huron-Bruce MP James Moore, Canadian Heritage and Official Languages minister:

• $57,291 to the Goderich Signal-Star
• $40,673 to the Shoreline Beacon
• $32,246 to the Kincardine News
• $28,518 to the Clinton News Record
• $23,190 to the Huron Expositor
• $21,325 to the Lucknow Sentinel

“The grant from Canadian Heritage is critical to the viability of small newspapers like ours,” Dave Sykes, Group Publisher, Sun Media, said in a recent Canadian Heritage press release. “It ensures that people in rural areas have access to local news.”

Pocket change for PKP, but an insult to employees affected by layoffs and nickle-and-dime cutbacks like cleaning staff and water coolers.

For a complete list of Canadian newspapers and magazines receiving Heritage grants, click here.

The Heritage Canada website says:

The Aid to Publishers component provides funding to eligible Canadian print magazines and non-daily newspapers calculated using a formula based on copies distributed over a year.

Publishers are able to use funding to support the creation of content, production, distribution, online activities, or business development.


  1. Wait a minute, I thought PKP opposed government meddlling in his business, yet he accepted this money?

  2. A few more pennies for the Nordiques...that can buy some jerseys and a lot of pucks.

  3. Indeed a slap. they've closed offices, laid off staff and the Minister hears it provides news to rural areas. Maybe the Minister should learn about the internet. The Ministry should ask what will be done with the money. I doubt he'd be happy with responses he'd get. We spent the money on buy outs and moving expenses. Whata joke and what a waste of Canadian Taxpayer dollars

  4. So, PKP is feeding at the public trough. Shame on him. As far I'm concerned that money should only go to independent papers and magazines, not those run (into the ground) by media moguls. But I guess PKP figures if he uses the money, any upstart competitors wouldn't be able to get handup. And anyway, what does that say about the independence of the press from political influence when one is taking money from the government?

  5. He made how many millions last year and he's accepting these government'packages' to help his papers? For the integrity of journalism? Unbelievable. We live in a cartoon. Maybe if these cronies actually talked to the reporters they're supposedly helping, they'd have gotten the real story.

  6. For many years Community newspapers who distribute mostly through Canada Post were receiving government money through the Publications Assisstance Program. It offset the huge cost for mailing. The Heritage Grant replaced the PAP with a broader definition of how the money can be used. Many small papers would have folded years ago without this aid. Sorry people, it's not all about the big papers or editorial staff all the time.

  7. It's horrifying to see corporate-backed newspapers receiving government grants - under the banner of heritage, no less - when they're direct and often overwhelming competition for the established, heritage, even historic independent local papers. Fortunately in some cases those independents are receiving the same funding, but it would be interesting to crunch the numbers and see how the grants compare for independent vs. corporate. Should a paper established in the 1990s with the sole intent of running the 1830s independent out of business get a heritage grant? Congratulations, feds - you've just made 21st-century Canadian media even scarier.

  8. The Canadian Periodical Fund (previously known as the Publications Assistance Program or PAP) is a joke.
    The previous comments about the unfairness of corporate newspapers receiving the grant along with "select" independents illustrates how little is known about this fund. Only newspapers (and other publications) with a paid subscription can receive CPF funding. Any newspaper (or publication) that has a controlled circulation is out of luck, regardless of quality of content, years of existence, etc.
    Initially, Canada Post and Canadian Heritage ran the program jointly. The idea was to help rural and small publications cover mailing/distribution costs through Canada Post.
    A not-so-amusing detail is that subscription-based newspapers are considered first class mail and treated accordingly, while controlled circulation newspapers are considered ad mail (i.e. flyers). As a result, the subscription-based newspapers are guaranteed better delivery. And, for this, they are rewarded with funding.
    The funding formula was not changed when Canada Post pulled out of the program and the CPF replaced PAP. It's surprising, as more and more newspapers are going to controlled circulations to compete with the corporate controlled circulation publications.
    In markets where there are competing controlled and subscription-based newspapers, the subscription based newspaper is supported by funding and receives better delivery by Canada Post. One would think that subscriptions are supposed to cover the costs of delivery.
    This funding model (which has the government's stamp of approval) endorses the line used by subscription-based newspapers that people don't read what they don't pay for. There's some truth to that statement because the delivery of controlled circulation newspapers by Canada Post is poorer than the delivery of subscription-based newspapers. In competing markets, the subscription-based newspaper usually ends up in the mailbox of the reader days before the controlled circulation competition does. As a perk, the subscription-based publisher gets some glad money from the CPF.
    The CPF has to be either abolished or the funding formula altered to include controlled circulation newspapers that meet all the other required criteria.

  9. One other note regarding the CPF...
    Newspapers that receive the grant are compensated for carrying flyer inserts.
    How? The grant money that a publication receives is based on the weight of the product, which includes any inserts.
    Effectively the CPF pays a tidy sum for flyer delivery, news content be damned.