Does local news matter to you? Give us your opinion! - The CRTC is holding a public hearing on local and community TV

OTTAWA, Jan. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched a public hearing today on local and community programming. Canadians are invited to express their views!

On January 12, the CRTC published a working document to propose possible approaches and stimulate discussion at the hearing.

Canadians are invited to share their opinion on the issues addressed in the working document and on any other topic raised at the hearing in an online discussion forum. They have until the end of the hearing on February 3 to do so!

The CRTC would like to discuss the role local and community programming plays in the lives of Canadians. The discussion forum will serve as a platform to answer questions such as the following:

  • Do you feel that local events in your region are sufficiently covered by television in terms of quantity and quality? If not, give us some ideas about what could be done to improve coverage.
  • Other than local TV, what other sources of information do you consult to stay informed of local events and why?
  • What types of community channel broadcasts interest you and why?
  • What could be done, if anything, to improve your community channel? For example, should community channels operating in small markets broadcast local professional news to meet the various needs of their communities?

During the Let's Talk TV proceeding, the CRTC identified several challenges faced by local and community television in this digital age, where both content and viewers are increasingly moving towards online services.

Moreover, a survey conducted as part of that proceeding revealed that 81% of Canadians believe that local news is important. In light of this, the CRTC wishes to discuss future approaches to ensuring access to local information and community access programming on multiple platforms.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC has published a working document intended to propose potential approaches and stimulate discussion. The CRTC does not prefer one approach over another.
  • The CRTC wishes to ensure that Canadians have access to local news and community access programming that meets their needs.
  • The CRTC is interested in hearing other proposals for using digital platforms to ensure that a sufficient amount of high-quality local information is made available to Canadians.
  • The CRTC is holding a public hearing in the National Capital Region from January 25 to February 3, 2016, to discuss the issues surrounding local and community television.
  • Average weekly viewing hours for Canadian news programs broadcast by Canadian television services is nearly 23% of total hours viewed in the English market and nearly 28% in the French market.
  • The percentage of Canadian households subscribing to cable, satellite or Internet protocol television (IPTV) services was 82%, or 11.6 million households, in 2014.
  • In 2013–2014, over $150 million was spent on community channels.

Quote

"We're having an important discussion about local and community TV to ensure that it continues to effectively serve citizens by providing them with programming that reflects their reality and current events. Thanks to this programming, Canadians can access local news and information making them informed and engaged citizens.

Moreover, we need to ensure that this programming takes its place on new emerging platforms, which are increasingly becoming a key news resource for Canadians. I encourage everyone to participate in the discussion forum to share their views about local and community programming and its importance."

- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations: 819-997-9403; General Information, 819-997-0313, Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TTY line: 819-994-0423

RELATED LINKS
http://www.crtc.gc.ca

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