CAJ pleased with CRTC decision on news channels

OTTAWA, Dec. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is pleased the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has moved to make access to Canadian news television channels fairer.

The CRTC decision and new regulatory policy released Dec. 19 applies to all Canadian Category C specialty news channels, which includes an order to ensure that all Canadians have access to CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, Le Canal Nouvelles (LCN), Le Réseau de l'information (RDI) and Sun News Network.

The CAJ had submitted its thoughts on the draft policy earlier this fall, encouraging the CRTC to create a television landscape where all Canadians had access to all available Canadian news channels and could choose which ones they wished to pay to receive. By and large, this is the framework the CRTC has adopted, giving Canada's cable and satellite companies until the spring to implement it.

"In an increasingly fragmented marketplace for television and other channels, Canadians deserve to have access to all the available Canadian news channels, whether or not they actually choose to subscribe to them," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. "This decision will level the playing field, giving both established and more recently launched news channels an opportunity to compete equitably for viewers and the subscription and advertising dollars they bring with them.

"It also puts the survival of each news channel in the hands of its audience. The channels providing the high-quality news and information sought by the greatest number of Canadians will succeed. Failure wouldn't be determined by whether a channel has access to the entire marketplace."

It's the CAJ's hope this change in policy will result in new Canadian news channels once the CRTC has completed a related review of television services. New voices mean new perspectives and, for our members and other journalists, more work.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing over 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

SOURCE: Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information:

Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president -519-535-8680 cell, hugo@caj.ca

www.caj.cawww.facebook.com/CdnAssocJournalistswww.twitter.com/CdnAssocJourn


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