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Live Chat: Local news and the Canadian federal budget

Near 200 attendees to the Local News Initiative forum in Victoria Hall, Cobourg on March 20. Photo by John Bronn

BELLEVILLE – When Postmedia and Torstar swapped 41 newspapers in November, closing 39 of them, the future of local news seemed pretty bleak.

It signaled yet another black mark in the industry, which starting in 2010, has watched 225 weekly and 27 daily newspapers closed or merged together.

Yet, this year the Canadian federal budget promised $50 million over five years to support local journalism in underserved communities earlier this month.

They will be providing the funding to one or more independent non-governmental organizations. These organizations will be in charge of giving out the money

The investment is being made to help make sure that there are trusted and reliable sources in the local communities and that they are accountable.

The government is planning to look into creating a new business model that would allow charitable funds to support non-profit journalism and local news.

Join us and our guest to share your opinion, ask questions and discuss the changes in local news organizations. The event will be held on Monday, March 26th and will run from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.