The Heritage Ministry document obtained by Blacklock's Reporter noted that the financial handouts meant to stem the bleeding in Canadian journalism were only "temporary" and largely ineffective.
The briefing note, Federal Support For Journalistic Content, detailed Canada's steep decline in news outlets since March 2020.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, 78 news outlets closed, including 65 community newspapers"
Outlets that experienced growth were either independent or the recipients of ad buys from the feds:
However, in the same period, 57 local news outlets have launched: two TV stations, five radio stations, nine community newspapers and 41 online news organizations.
Due to government support and a recent boost in advertising revenue, some news organizations have experienced some stability and growth.
Since the peak of the pandemic closures, 16 community newspapers have reopened although overall job losses have continued upwards.
The sentiment in the memo echoes an earlier statement from a senior official in the Heritage Department.
"We have seen a significant decline in journalism,” said Thomas Ripley, associate assistant deputy heritage minister, on April 24.
The $600 million bailout first announced in 2019 consists of direct subsidies, grants, and preferential tax treatment like a 15 percent subscription tax credit to mainstream media outlets.
The benefits are slated to expire on March 31, 2024.