Quebec government outlines $36M plan to help struggling news industry
Funding to be doled out over 5 years to help ailing companies
The Quebec government released details Monday on how it plans to spend $36.4 million over five years to help the province's struggling print media.
Print news media will have until Jan. 15 to present the government with plans on how they will transition to digital platforms, Quebec Culture Minister Marie Montpetit said.
She said $19.2 million will be dedicated toward helping media with that transition, while another $5.2 million will be set aside for 156 community newspapers.
Montpetit said the remaining $12 million will be given to newspaper companies in order to help relieve them of part of the costs of recycling.
The goal of the aid package is to help print media cope with declining advertising revenue as well as competition from social media platforms that offer news free of charge.
The hand-out package had already been allocated in last March's budget.
Montpetit said the subsidies are only the first step and adds the federal government also has a role to play.
Quebec is not ruling out offering print news media tax credits on employee salaries, she added.
The funding announcement comes after Torstar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc. said last week they will cut nearly 300 jobs and close more than 30 newspapers across the country, many of them in Ontario.
Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey said the company's closures were prompted by declining ad revenues. He said the bulk of online advertising is being spent on Google and Facebook instead of local newspapers.