Support for independent local journalism because you deserve to know

News release

SAGUENAY, Quebec, March 1, 2024

Local journalism reflects our day-to-day realities, informs us about issues that might affect us and, through storytelling, unites us as neighbours and Canadians. The Government of Canada remains committed to ensuring that all Canadians can access sustainable and robust independent news.

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced $58.8 million in funding to extend the Local Journalism Initiative for the next three years (2024-27). This important investment will help support the creation of original local journalism that covers the diverse needs of Canada's underserved communities. Today’s funding brings total support for this initiative to $128.8 million over eight years, since its 2019 launch. The minister made the announcement at the Future of Regional Information Summit, organized by the Cégep de Jonquière’s art and media technology graduate school along with la Fédération nationale des communications et de la culture.

To protect the independence of the press, the government will continue to work with not-for-profit organizations to administer this funding. These organizations provide the funds that support media organizations produce local journalism in underserved communities.

With the help of the Initiative in 2022-23, news organizations were able to hire or maintain more than 400 jobs for journalists, who covered issues and stories in nearly 1,500 underserved communities across Canada. Of this group, 60 journalists provided coverage in Indigenous communities, 84 in ethnocultural communities, 161 in official language minority communities and 11 in 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

In our democracy, declining local journalism has negative effects on local communities and may result in less accountability. As news organizations innovate to reach audiences, the Government of Canada will continue its suite of measures to help independent, reliable journalists do their important work.


“A free and independent press is vital in informing, engaging and connecting us as Canadians. We have responded to the disruptions and challenges facing news organizations and have consistently supported news organizations through funding programs, tax credits for hiring journalists, and the Online News Act. To assure underserved communities get the news they deserve, we will continue to support the Local Journalism Initiative, which helps Canadians get reliable facts and information when they need them.”

—Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • The Local Journalism Initiative was launched in 2019 as a five-year, $50 million program to ensure that trusted, local perspectives are available and to encourage local community engagement. It was further provided with $10 million over two years as part of the COVID-19 Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors, and provided with another $10 million in 2023–24 during Budget 2022. Today’s investment brings total support for this initiative to $128.8 million over eight years since 2019.

  • The Local Journalism Initiative provides annual funding to more than 400 journalist positions across the country. The content produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons licence so that Canadians can be better informed.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Ariane Joazard-Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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