The Canadian Journalism Collective is a federally incorporated nonprofit organization created for the purpose of distributing funds allocated under the Online News Act.

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Canadian Journalism Collective to represent Canadian news businesses under Online News Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7th, 2024

The Canadian Journalism Collective-Collectif Canadien de Journalisme (CJC-CCJ) has signed an agreement to act as the collective responsible for receiving and distributing $100 million annually from Google in support of Canadian news businesses under the Online News Act. As outlined in the final regulations of the Act, the Collective will work with all eligible news businesses that came forward during the open call process.

The CJC-CCJ commits to equitably support the full diversity of the news ecosystem, ensure marketplace fairness and encourage innovation and sustainability.

The CJC-CCJ is responsible for reviewing all news publishers that responded to the open call process, accepting all that submitted valid attestations, and then distributing funds across publishers in accordance with the distribution formula prescribed by the Online News Act regulations. The CJC-CCJ intends to establish robust governance and distribute funding as swiftly and transparently as possible.

“The Canadian Journalism Collective is committed to distributing this funding in a fair, transparent, and inclusive manner in accordance with the regulations. We look forward to working with the full diversity of the Canadian news ecosystem including traditional print and broadcast organizations and independent local news publishers including those who serve Indigenous, Black and racialized communities and Francophone communities,” said Sadia Zaman, Independent Board Director of the CJC-CCJ.

For more information, contact: info@cjc-ccj.ca

Frequently Asked Questions
UPDATED July 15, 2024

What is the CJC-CCJ?

The Canadian Journalism Collective-Collectif Canadien de Journalisme (CJC-CCJ) is a federally incorporated nonprofit organization created for the purpose of distributing funds allocated under the Online News Act. The CJC-CCJ was founded by a diverse group of news publishers and broadcasters to promote sustainability, equity and innovation in the Canadian news ecosystem.

How did the CJC-CCJ come to be?

The Canadian Journalism Collective-Collectif Canadien de Journalisme (CJC-CCJ) was founded in May 2024 by a diverse group of news publishers and broadcasters to promote sustainability, equity, and innovation in the implementation of the Online News Act and regulations.

Our overriding objective is to ensure that the Act and regulations are implemented in a way that supports the full diversity of Canadian media, including traditional print and broadcast organizations, new, innovative emerging media, and independent local news media. This spirit and substance were reflected in the CJC-CCJ's proposal to Google to act as the distributor of the $100 million annually that, pursuant to the Online News Act, it is investing in strengthening the Canadian journalism ecosystem.

The CJC-CCJ was incorporated as a federal non-profit in May for the sole purpose of distributing funds in a manner that is fair, transparent, and in keeping with the spirit of the Online News Act and regulations.

A temporary interim board has been put in place. It is their job to oversee initial operations, in accordance with the Online News Act and regulations, until an Executive Director is hired and a full board is elected that is inclusive of the full diversity of Canada's news media. A detailed draft of the full board's composition can be found here.

We are proud, honoured, and excited to have been selected for this critical work. We look forward to working with all Canadian media organizations to ensure it achieves maximum positive effect in the years to come.

When will news businesses receive funding from the CJC-CCJ?

Google’s first payment of $100 million to the CJC-CCJ is contingent on the company formally receiving an exemption from the Online News Act, a decision that will be made by the CRTC. The CRTC has begun a public consultation on this matter. During the comment period, which ends on 6 August, anyone can comment on Google’s application or respond to the questions in the CRTC’s notice. The CJC-CCJ will provide a submission to the CRTC, and we encourage news industry stakeholders to participate in the consultation as well. Following the comment period there will be a 10-day reply period concluding in August.

We expect Google to release the funds to CJC-CCJ within 60 days after the exemption is issued. Following receipt of the exemption and funds from Google, CJC-CCJ intends to distribute funding as swiftly and transparently, in accordance with the regulations.

What are the next steps for the CJC-CCJ?

While waiting for the CRTC to complete its review, the CJC-CCJ has begun its work to establish the infrastructure and governance required to distribute funding as swiftly and transparently, in accordance with the regulations.

The CJC-CCJ encourages all stakeholders to participate in the CRTC public consultation to provide feedback, which will inform our plans. Stakeholders may also share feedback with us directly at info@cjc-ccj.ca. We want to hear from the full diversity of the news ecosystem about what is important to them in regards to distribution of the $100 million annually. We will respond to feedback through the CRTC consultation and inform our stakeholders through our email newsletter at each milestone in the process.

We will also soon publicly post for the role of Executive Director of the CJC-CCJ. The Executive Director will run the day-to-day operations of the not-for-profit and rapidly scale the infrastructure required to distribute the Google funding. The CJC-CCJ is committed to running a transparent and rigorous recruitment process for this important role. We expect the Executive Director will start shortly after the CRTC grants its exemption.


Is the steering committee on the CJC-CCJ website its governance structure?

No. The steering committee is the group of independent news leaders and others who contributed to the CJC-CCJ proposal to Google. When the CJC-CCJ was incorporated as a federal nonprofit in May, a temporary interim board was put in place. It is their job to oversee initial operations, in accordance with the Online News Act and regulations, until an Executive Director is hired and a full board is elected that will be inclusive of the full diversity of the news ecosystem.

We have shared a detailed draft of our governance structure in our CRTC submission. The full board will be elected before any funds are distributed.

Will representatives from sectors of the news ecosystem not currently represented on the steering committee be included in the full governance board?

Yes. As outlined in the final regulations of the Online News Act, the Collective will work with all eligible news businesses that came forward during the open call process. The CJC-CCJ will invite both traditional print and broadcast organizations and independent local newsrooms to participate in the full governance structure, in accordance with the Act. Find the details of our governance structure here.

Section 11 of the Act requires that the CJC-CCJ “involve a range of news outlets … that reflect a diversity of business models … [and] contribute to the sustainability of the Canadian news marketplace.” The Act specifically mentions a range of news outlets in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, those that provide services to all markets and diverse populations (including local and regional markets in every province and territory), Anglophone and Francophone communities, Black and other racialized communities and Indigenous news outlets.

Will the CJC-CCJ be transparent in its operations and decision-making?

The CJC-CCJ is committed to a high bar of transparency. The Collective has committed to the following transparency mechanisms.

Before distributing funds to any news business, the CJC-CCJ will publish on its website its governance documents, eligibility criteria, policies regarding funding distribution, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Within 30 days after distributing its first funding, the CJC-CCJ will publish a disclosure that includes policies pertaining to FTE verification, a list of news businesses funded and the amounts paid to each, FTE count per industry segment, and administrative fees drawn by the Collective. The CJC-CCJ will update the disclosure within 30 days of the end of each quarter. Find our working version of this here.

We welcome feedback on transparency by email at info@cjc-ccj.ca.

How will the CJC-CCJ interpret FTEs to inform distribution of the funds?

The CJC-CCJ is required to distribute funds as per the Online News Act and regulations. We will work closely with the regulator to ensure compliance with the funding formula prescribed in the Act and regulations.

How will the CJC-CCJ ensure as much funding as possible flows to news businesses?

The CJC-CCJ is committed to administering funds efficiently while ensuring sufficient infrastructure is in place to administer funds effectively, transparently and fairly. We anticipate that the maximum amount required for administration fees will be 2%. The CJC-CCJ will report administrative fees in a disclosure published on its website. (See transparency question above.)

Will news businesses that missed the open call for attestations from Google be able to access funding?

The CJC-CCJ is responsible for reviewing all news publishers that responded to Google’s open call process, accepting all that submitted valid attestations, and then distributing funds across publishers in accordance with the distribution formula prescribed by the Online News Act regulations.

The CJC-CCJ has heard from news businesses that missed the open call. The CRTC is currently consulting on procedural requirements and the open call process with specific questions on processes for news businesses that missed the open call. We encourage those businesses to share their concerns with the CRTC through the public consultation process.

The CJC-CCJ is committed to working with the regulator to clarify this process as soon as feasible.

The CRTC has asked the CJC to respond to provide specifics on your governance structures, policies and procedures what was your response?

As part of its consultations the CRTC posed a number of clarifying questions to CJC, Google and the general public.  This included further information on our governance structure and the policies and procedures we are in the process of developing which we provided in a written response on July 15, 2024.  This response along with our full submission is available through the publicly accessible CRTC consultation portal which can be accessed at https://applications.crtc.gc.ca/instances-proceedings (consultation number 2024-143).

We encourage all interested parties to participate in the CRTC consultation process, to ensure their voices are heard.

Will the CJC-CCJ be open to adjusting its operations in areas where stakeholders have shared feedback since it was selected by Google to distribute its Online News Act funds?

Yes. We will continue to listen to ideas and concerns that stakeholders express. Please share your thoughts with us at info@cjc-ccj.ca. We will reply through the stakeholder consultation process.

CJC-CCJ is required to carry out its work in conformity with the Online News Act and regulations and subject to any directive and instructions issued by the CRTC in its upcoming consultation on Google’s exemption application.

Has the CJC agreed to indemnify Google for all copyright-related proceedings?
Stakeholders have asked the CJC to clarify clause 31 of the CRTC consultation, which reads:

Beyond the distribution of funds, the CJC has agreed to a number of other terms, including that it, and its members, will not launch any bargaining or copyright-related proceedings against Google, and that it will indemnify Google against a wide variety of potential losses.

The CJC recommends interested parties review the contract between the CJC and Google itself, rather than rely on the CRTC summary of its terms. The contract was made public through the CRTC proceeding, and you can find it here. The relevant clause in the contract is 7h, which limits the indemnification to the Online News Act: "infringement of copyright in relation to making available news content of Members by Intermediaries in the manner permitted by the Act."

How do I provide feedback or participate in the CRTC consultation?
The CJC encourages all interested parties to participate in the CRTC consultation. We appreciate all feedback, which will inform our plans. The CJC has prepared this technical guideline to support stakeholders in submitting to the CRTC process.

For more information, contact: info@cjc-ccj.ca

About the Canadian Journalism Collective

All eligible news businesses that replied to Google's open call will be admitted to the CJC-CCJ, as per the Online News Act Regulations.

The CJC-CCJ was founded by a diverse group of news publishers and broadcasters to promote sustainability, equity and innovation in the Canadian news ecosystem. The founding steering committee, which contributed input to the CJC-CCJ proposal to Google, includes all new media sectors mentioned by the Online News Act.

When the CJC-CCJ was incorporated as a federal nonprofit in May 2024, a temporary interim board was put in place. It is their job to oversee initial operations, in accordance with the Online News Act and regulations, until an Executive Director is hired and a full board is elected that will be inclusive of the full diversity of the news ecosystem. Details of the board composition and election process will be shared for comment during the CJC-CCJ’s stakeholder consultation.

Gabrielle Brassard

Co-founder, Pivot

Interim board director

Matthew DiMera

Founder, The Resolve

Cathy Edwards

Executive director, Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations

Interim board director 

Jeff Elgie

CEO, Village Media

Eden Fineday

Executive director, IndigiNews

Amélie Hinse

Directrice générale, Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec

Dru Jay

Publisher, The Breach
Executive director, CUTV

Interim board director

Jean La Rose

President, Dadan Sivunivut

Interim board director

Erin Millar

CEO, Indiegraf

Steering committee chair,
Interim board director

Adam Reaburn

Owner, Moose FM / Energeticcity.ca

Interim board director

Brandi Schier

CEO, Discourse Community Publishing

Liaison to Press Forward

Sadia Zaman

CEO, Inspirit Foundation

Interim independent board director

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Contact: info@cjc-ccj.ca