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No Way To Apply CanCon Rules To New Media

Is there a way to apply Canadian content rules to new media?

The Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC), as we reported on Profectio,  will begin re-examining its role in Canada’s new media in the new year.

One of the things they’ll be looking for is whether CanCon rules should apply to Canadian new media content.   CanCon rules stipulate a minimum requirement of Canadian content on TV and radio stations in Canada.   That rule works for traditional outlets, but it doesn’t translate very well to the web.

The web is far too different a medium from radio and television to apply CanCon rules.

There are no channels on the web, for one.  And there isn’t just a handful of media owners.  IF you consider every site and every blog  a separate entity, then there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of owners in Canada alone.  It’s impossible to make sure they all have a suitable level of Canadian content.

It’s been argued that the bigger concern is access, and that the CRTC should ensure that all  Canadian groups get online, especially those lacking funds to do so.

I’m not sure if that will help.  Some sort of fund could be enacted to help them get online, sure, but it doesn’t guarantee their messages will be seen among the millions of others.

And that’s the crux of it: there’s not much that can be done to guarantee Canadians will view more canuck content from anywhere else,  and not much that can be done to ensure Canadian messages stand out above any others.

That’s what makes the web truly democratic:  Canadians with the ideas and perseverance to make their site a success are the ones whose content will stand out among all others.   And here’s no ruling the CRTC can enact that can make that happen.

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