Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.
On this week's episode: Why news headlines are about to disappear from your Facebook feed.
After months of debate, the Trudeau government has passed Bill C-18, a controversial piece of legislation aimed at forcing tech giants like Facebook and Google to compensate media outlets for content shared on their social media platforms.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has championed the bill, insisting "it levels the playing field by putting the power of big tech in check." But does it? Almost immediately after the bill received royal assent, Meta — the parent company of Facebook and Instagram — announced it will stop allowing news stories to be accessed and shared on its platforms.
Bottom line: Instead of being forced to pay up, Facebook would rather wipe all traces of reliable, factual journalism from your feed.
Many media outlets — including Village Media, which operates this local news website — have lobbied hard against Bill C-18, pointing out an often-overlooked fact: that far from being the enemy, Facebook and Google are actually critical to the news industry because they help drive traffic and build audiences. Simply put, big tech helps connect people to important journalism they may otherwise miss.
Michael Geist understands the implications of Bill C-18 as well as anyone. The Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Geist joins Inside the Village to talk about the new legislation: Who wins? Who loses? And what does it all mean for the future of quality local reporting, including the kind featured every day on this website?
The answers are not exactly encouraging. If you care about journalism — especially local journalism — this episode is a can't-miss.
Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.
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