Weblog / Notre blogue

“Community Element” All But Invisible in “Canada's communications future: Time to act”

CACTUS was disappointed to find almost no mention of the community element in the Canadian broadcasting system in the recently released report “Canada's communications future: Time to act” (aka the Yale Report). While Recommendation 52 maintains the existing definition of the Canadian broadcasting system as consisting of “public, private, and community elements”, there is no mention of the sector throughout the remaining 235 pages of the report, despite a full section devoted to the role and funding of public-sector media (the CBC), and considerable granularity regarding new funding and regulatory models to facilitate production for private media.

Everyone acknowledges the crisis in local news and information, yet the huge potential of the community sector to fill this gap—due to its lower cost structure and involvement by local stakeholders—is neither understood nor acknowledged.

This oversight is part of a long-standing trend. Neither the 2017 Creative Canada Policy Framework and Shattered Mirror reports made more than passing mentions of the community element.

Aside from the issue of local news and information, the report highlights the need to better serve indigenous Canadians, yet no mention is made of community media as the most cost-effective choice to reach most First Nations, many of whom may have only a few 100 or 1000 members. Community media trains community members in media production and gives them a voice and a platform, in the language of their choice. Via community media, indigenous communities can access the infrastructure and skills to participate in the digital economy.

The 1986 Report on the Task Force on Broadcasting which informed the 1991 Broadcasting Act recommended that community TV be separately licensed, to fulfill its potential as a platform for voices outside the mainstream, but the recommendation was never implemented, leaving the sector under the stewardship of the cable industry. That need is even stronger 34 years further on, in an environment of intense media-ownership concentration. The cable industry has shuttered the vast majority of the over 300 community stations that once existed. Canada is the ONLY nation in the world that put stewardship of the so-called “community element” in private hands.

The only reference in the Yale Report to the stranglehold that the CRTC has allowed cable companies to maintain on community TV is that half of the money (about $70 million) that was supposed to support communities to make their own audio-visual productions has already been siphoned off to support the Independent Local News Fund (the ILNF). Far from flagging this problem and the need for full funding for community media, the Yale report recommends at Recommendation 71 that more of this “levy” should be diverted to support local private news. The report doesn't acknowledge where the “levy” is coming from. The community element is just a black hole to be raided to support failing legacy news infrastructure. There is no vision to build more cost-effective, accountable and dynamic local institutions.

To read CACTUS' submission to the review process that preceded the Yale report, see

CACTUS Submission to the Broadcasting Review 2019

To hear an interview with Catherine Edwards, CACTUS' Executive Director, about the Yale report, as well as with Barry Rooke, the Executive Director of the National Community Radio Association, see:

Rabble Podcast with CACTUS and NCRA Executive Directors

Read more...


Apply for TV Journalist Positions under Local Journalism Initiative

(français en bas)

Applications are invited for the position of: Civic and Community Video Journalist in the following locations and languages:

Valemount, BC – English
Hay River, NWT – English; Dene an asset
Neepawa, Manitoba – English; Filipino an asset

Term: These are time-limited positions starting December 2, 2019 and ending on March 26, 2021, with the possibility of renewal.

DESCRIPTION

The Canadian Association of Community Television Stations and Users (CACTUS) is looking for Civic and Community Video Journalists in the above listed communities.

These positions are funded by The Local Journalism Initiative and have been made possible by the Government of Canada.

The journalists will be hired by community TV organizations to produce civic journalism, about the activities of the country’s civic institutions (for example, courthouses, city halls, band councils, school boards, federal Parliament or provincial legislatures) or subjects of public importance to society.

Ideal candidates will have a strong understanding of video journalism, an understanding of how local issues impact residents, a passion for storytelling and solid video production skills. It is equally important that candidates understand community-based media and their role in facilitating dialog by involving members of the community directly in the production process.  Candidates will function as the leader of a team of volunteer community media makers who will collaboratively create professional content delivered through video, web, podcasts and social media.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Self motivation and proven ability to generate story ideas
  • Ability to identify, research and produce engaging video stories, and to convene public events and programming that engage the community in dialog.
  • Strong digital video production skills.
  • Willingness to work with members of the community and local organizations to create high quality productions.  Core hours may include evenings and weekends when volunteers are available or public events are occurring.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Keen interest in civic issues.
  • Valid driver’s licence.
  • (in three locations indicated above)Must be able to work in both of Canada’s official languages.

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Preference will be given to candidates who:

  • Have experience with community-based media, including the ability to work with volunteers
  • Can produce audio-only content (e.g. podcasting), online text stories, and social media to complement video products
  • Data journalism skills
  • Indigenous language skills as per locations listed above or experience working in service roles with indigenous communities

Interested applicants should complete and send this application form, along with their CV and a cover letter indicating which position(s) they are interested in and why to lji@cactusmedia.ca. There is a rolling deadline, until the positions are filled.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.

CACTUS is an advocate for equity and is committed to ensuring representation in its community. We welcome applications from members of visible minorities, women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. CACTUS seeks to maintain its commitment to excellence and recognizes that increasing the diversity of its own and its members' workplaces supports this objective.

************************************************************************************

POSTE DE JOURNALISTE
DANS LE CADRE DE L’INITIATIVE JOURNALISTIQUE LOCALE
DU GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA

Les candidatures sont sollicitées pour le pour le poste de :
Journaliste civique au sein de télévision communautaire dans les collectivités indiquées ci-dessous et dans les langues affichées:

Valemount, Colombie-Britannique – anglais
Hay River, Territoire du Nord-Ouest – anglais; dene un atout
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – anglais; crie, dene and michif un atout
Neepawa, Manitoba – anglais; philipin un atout
Rockland, Ontario – français, anglais
Cheticamp, Nouvelle-Écosse – français, anglais

Durée : Du 25 novembre 2019 au 26 mars 2021, avec possibilité de renouvellement

DESCRIPTION DE TÂCHE

L’Association canadienne des télévisions communautaires et leurs usagés (CACTUS) est à la recherche de journalistes télé prêt à s’impliquer dans le domaine des nouvelles « civiques » et communautaires dans les collectivités susmentionnées.

Ces postes sont financés par « L’initiative de journalisme local » et sont rendus possibles grâce à l’implication du gouvernement du Canada.

Les journalistes seront embauchés directement par les organismes de télévision communautaire pour de produire des capsules / reportages à caractère civique, sur les activités des institutions du pays (palais de justice, hôtels de ville, conseils de bande, commissions scolaires, parlement fédéral ou assemblées législatives provinciales) ou des sujets d’importance publique pour la société.

Les candidats-tes idéaux-les auront une bonne compréhension du journalisme télé, de l’impact des enjeux locaux sur les résidents, prendront un engagement envers l’éthique journalistique. Ils-Elles doivent également avoir de solides compétences en production vidéo. Il est aussi important que les candidats-tes comprennent les médias communautaires et leur rôle dans la facilitation du dialogue en faisant participer directement, tel que l’exige la Loi de la radiotélédiffusion du Canada, les membres de la collectivité au processus de production. Les personnes retenues dirigeront une équipe de journalistes bénévoles qui créeront en collaboration du contenu professionnel diffusé par la télé conventionnelle, sur le Web, les balados et les médias sociaux.

EXIGENCES :

  • Motivation personnelle et capacité à générer des idées d’articles / reportages
  • Capacité d’identifier, de rechercher et de produire des vidéos sur des sujets intéressants, et d’organiser une programmation qui assurent un dialogue avec la communauté ;
  • Compétences en production vidéo numérique ;
  • Volonté de travailler avec les membres de la collectivité et les organismes locaux pour créer des productions de grande qualité ;
  • Heures flexibles, pouvant comprendre les soirées et les fins de semaine, au gré de l’actualité, des événements et de la disponibilité des bénévoles ;
  • Solides compétences d’organisation et de gestion du temps ;
  • Vif intérêt pour les questions civiques de la région desservie par la télé communautaire ;
  • Permis de conduire valide ;
  • (Pour trois endroits mentionnés ci-dessus) Doit être en mesure de travailler dans les deux langues officielles du Canada.

QUALIFICATIONS ADDITIONELLES

La préférence sera accordée aux candidats-tes avec :

  • Expérience des médias communautaires, y compris la capacité de travailler avec des bénévoles ;
  • Capacité de produire du contenu audio seulement (p. ex., baladodiffusion), des textes en ligne et pour les médias sociaux pour compléter les produits vidéo ;
  • Formation en journalisme de données ;
  • Compétences linguistiques autochtones selon les endroits susmentionnés ou expérience de travail auprès des communautés autochtones.

Les candidats-tes intéressés-es doivent remplir et envoyer le formulaire de demande, ainsi que leur CV et une lettre de présentation indiquant l’endroit qui les intéressent et pourquoi ils sont intéressés à : lji@cactusmedia.ca.

Seules les personnes sélectionnées pour une entrevue seront contactés.

CACTUS est un organisme sans but lucratif qui défend l’équité en matière de radiodiffusion et est déterminé à assurer la représentation dans les diverses collectivités du pays. Nous accueillons favorablement les candidatures des membres des minorités visibles, des femmes, des peuples autochtones, des personnes handicapées, des personnes d’orientation sexuelle minoritaire et des identités de genre, ou autres qui possèdent les compétences et les connaissances nécessaires pour interagir de façon productive avec nos diverses collectivités.

CACTUS maintient son engagement envers l’excellence et reconnaît que l’accroissement de la diversité, autant dans son son milieu de travail que dans celui de ses membres, appuie cet objectif.

Read more...


Application Process Open for “Local Journalism Initiative”

CACTUS and the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec (the Fédération) will take applications from community television organizations until September 6th to hire a journalist under Heritage Canada's Local Journalism Initiatve (the LJI). The Initiative will fund “civic journalism” in underserved communities, to address the gaps in local news coverage that have arisen in the wake of community newspaper closures, and the outflow of local ad dollars onto international platforms such as Google and Facebook.

According to the LJI web site “Civic journalism covers the activities of the country’s civic institutions (for example, courthouses, city halls, band councils, school boards, federal Parliament or provincial legislatures) or subjects of public importance to society.” Coverage of sports, arts, and entertainment will not be funded.

The content produced with LJI funding will be made available to media outlets across the country free of charge under a Creative Commons License.

CACTUS will disperse funds to not-for-profit community TV organizations that have the capacity to produce video and television content, and to distribute it to their local communities. Program participants must have a mandate and capacity to train and include citizens and local organizations in the production process. CACTUS' goal is that hosting LJI journalists will not only boost the news production of program participants for the 18 months of the pilot project, but build their capacity for the long haul.

To download an application form to hire a journalist, click here:

If you have questions about the program or the application process, contact:

  • lji@cactusmedia.ca or (819) 456-2237 or (705) 279-5729 in all provinces and territories except Quebec
  • fedetvc@fedetvc.qc.ca or (888) 739-1616 in Quebec

Besides CACTUS and the Fédération, six other “Administrative Organizations" will disperse funding under the Local Journalism Initiative to news organizations that specialize in radio, print, online and ethnic media. For more information, see click here.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.

Read more...


Canadian Heritage Funds Community-Based TV News as Part of Local Journalism Initiative

Non-profit community-owned television will be part of the new Local Journalism Initiative for Underserved Communities, announced by the Department of Canadian Heritage on May 22nd, 2019 by the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

Seven media organizations have been chosen to be Administrative Organizations which will disperse the funding, including CACTUS and the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec, which represents not-for-profit community TV in Quebec.

The funding is especially welcome news for the sector. After several years of meetings with the federal government regarding the continuing relevance of community media to Canadian democracy, the Local Journalism Initiative is the first federal funding program that reaffirms the sector's importance in the digital environment.

CACTUS has been championing a multimedia and multi-platform vision for community media for a decade, believing that community media is vital to ensure that there are robust, visible, accessible, and moderated platforms for community dialogue on all platforms. CACTUS and Fédération members include licensed organizations whose content is distributed free to air, on cable, on satellite, and on the Internet, as well as unlicensed not-for-profit corporations that distribute video content over the internet and on community channels run by cable companies such as Rogers, Shaw and Videotron.

Funding under the Local Journalism Initiative will enable CACTUS and the Fédération to place professional journalists in communities underserved by other media across Canada. The journalists will co-ordinate teams of citizens and local organizations to produce news and local information, building news production capacity in these undeserved communities for the long haul.

The content produced by the journalists under the Local Journalism Initiative will also be available to media outlets across the country free of charge under a Creative Commons License.

Details with be released in upcoming weeks. For more information about the Canadian Heritage Local Journalism Initiative, click here.

Read more...


CACTUS Conducts Research into Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Video Game Applications for Civic Engagement

CACTUS founder and Executive Director Cathy Edwards is conducting research at Emerson College's "Engagement Lab" in Boston into civic appications for virtual reality, augmented reality, and video games.

Edwards said "Newer, more immersive and interactive audio-visual technologies are becoming available and we want to find out how they can be leveraged for civic engagement... Put another way, how effective are these technologies as community media?"

Community media has historically pushed the boundaries of community engagement through media, whether through interactive formats such as call-in shows, involvement of studio audience, on-site presence at community events with mobile production units, or just because community members can directly participate in production. Edwards thinks the time has come to see what the new technologies can do: "Video games engage viewer agency. You can't just watch something... you have to make choices to be part of the story. This opens up the possibility of developing empathy for others, experiencing different sorts of situations. Playing games is also a great way to learn how complex systems work, whether structural or engineering systems, electoral systems, or biological systems. Moving around within a game testing the boundary helps you learn in a way you can't watching a linear video."

Virtual reality enables viewers to immerse themselves in an alternate reality. Edwards says that VR, like games, can create more empathy than traditional video. "When you really seem to be in a place, and you can move within the space, it's harder to distance yourself from something. You see what it's really like."

CACTUS hopes to have tutorials available for its members and other not-for-profit institutions to learn to leverage the potential of the new technologies. Former community TV stations in the US, and some community media centres in Canada--such as CACTUS member Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre in Toronto--are already teaching and using these new tools.

Read more...


n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a