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Tyee Poll: Is Nationalizing Journalism the Way to End Fake News?

Hedge-fund billionaires are wringing the last drops of profit out of Canadian media organizations (cough... Postmedia... cough) before sending them out to pasture entirely — according to Crawford Kilian in a recent op-ed for The Tyee.

Earlier this month, Postmedia announced that it was laying off 54 Sun and Province employees, including 29 people in the already shrunken newsroom. According to Kilian, “Postmedia’s owners have no interest in informing British Columbians (or other Canadians) — only in making themselves richer, and less taxed.”

Here enters the idea of a so-called “basic income” for public-interest media, a federally funded organization Kilian dubs the Canadian News Foundation — its governing board appointed apolitically. It wouldn’t be unlike the CBC — except for the crucial difference that it would be immune from funding cuts from governments feeling bruised by some damning report or another put out by the media organizations on the receiving end of funding.

Call it a new Crown corporation, but one that mandates fact-based news across the political spectrum. Community and regional papers could apply for funding, as could online news organizations. Stories generated with this funding would be publicly accessible to all.

Expensive? Yes. As Kilian writes, this “would be an expensive proposition, but some hedge-fund billionaires are prepared to spend far more to demolish democratic government and replace it with a plutocracy enforced by private armies.”

According to Kilian, this funding mechanism is the way to save public-interest journalism from going the way of woolly mammoths, milkmen and video rental stores — with the foundation of democratic function at stake.

This isn’t the first proposed solution to Canadian journalism’s dire situation published in The Tyee. Last month, we put together a list of “ten ways to build a new media ecosystem,” including lifting or loosening philanthropic restrictions and tax breaks for media support.

So tell us...

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Please note that Tyee Barometer polls are only intended as a quick and engaging non-scientific snapshot of our readers' opinions on various topics that fit with The Tyee's very broad editorial mandate. They are not intended to be seen as a representative sampling of BC opinion.

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