Is Canada’s State Media System Coming to America?

Financial struggles of the journalism industry propel a push for public funding.

What’s happening: With global newspaper revenues dropping by half in the past five years, there is a growing rally for more taxpayer-funded media.

The argument: Media critics maintain that unregulated news markets have created a crisis of “misinformation” by prioritizing profit-fueled clicks over public service. Public financing of “trustworthy” news organizations has been proposed as a way to keep “honest” journalism alive.

The Canadian blueprint: A similar desire for accessible and diverse content inspired government expansion into Canada’s media, which is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) — an agency enforcing federal policy.

  • Near-total control: Recently passed legislation allows the Trudeau government to provide millions of dollars of tax credits and subsidies to Canadian news organizations.

It’s a failure: Recent surveys show that less than 16 percent of Canadians highly trust news organizations, support that has declined as government subsidies increase. Fifty-three percent profess low or moderate trust. And justifiably so. Rather than combat “misinformation,” Canadian media propped up fabricated intelligence that the government used to defend its overreach in response to vaccine mandate protesters.

Why it matters: A free press is fundamental to preventing state abuses, and Canada demonstrates how public funding can cost the media its editorial independence and trust. But the financial struggles of America’s journalism industry could make room for the government to step in as its savior — as left-wing donors have already done.

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