Google inks deal with organization to dish out $100M for Canadian news companies

The Canadian Journalism Collective, which is a federally incorporated non-profit created for this sole purpose, will be responsible for ensuring eligible news organizations receive their share of the funds.

Google inks deal with organization to dish out $100M for Canadian news companies
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Tech giant Google has announced that it will use the Canadian Journalism Collective to distribute $100 million to Canadian news companies.

Google reached an agreement to pay Canadian news publishers $100 million annually, fixed to inflation, to be exempt from the Trudeau government's Online News Act late last year.

The Canadian Journalism Collective, a federally incorporated non-profit created for this sole purpose, will be responsible for ensuring eligible news organizations receive their share of the funds.

The committee will be made up of 12 independent media outlets that represent several minority groups, including French language, Indigenous news, as well as news to serve Black and minority communities, The Canadian Press reports.

The group says it is committed to distributing the funds in a "fair, transparent, and inclusive manner," the CJC's independent board director Sadia Zaman said in a statement.

“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," she said.

The committee says it will establish its governance structure in the next few weeks.

It is not yet clear when eligible news businesses will receive the cash, as Google will first need to be exempt from the federal broadcast regulator.

“We hope these next steps will be completed as quickly as possible, so Canadian publishers and journalists can soon begin to receive the proceeds of this new contribution model,” Google said in a blog posted on their website Friday.

Earlier this year, Google invited news organizations to apply for compensation under the Online News Act, attracting around 1,500 applicants.

A collective body will assess all the news publishers that applied and allocate the funds to those that meet the established criteria.

To qualify for a portion of the $100 million fund, news organizations must be recognized as qualified Canadian journalism organizations under the Income Tax Act.

Additionally, they need to produce news content that serves the public interest, operate within Canada, and employ at least two journalists.

The distribution of the funds will be proportional, based on the number of full-time journalists employed by each organization.

CBC/Radio-Canada will get a sum that does not exceed $7 million of the annual fund, and $30 million at most will be reserved for other broadcasters.

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

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