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Concurrent session

The [New] Media Landscape


November 19, 2016 at 10:45am - 12pm


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
with Brodie Fenlon and Gillian Steward

Journalism serves a democratic function, but the corporate funding model has crumbled. The industry struggles with the twin crises of sustainable funding and digital delivery. What does a sustainable funding model look like? Can the industry recover to deliver on its public good mandate in the new world of digital journalism?

The never-ending digital disruption of news

A closer examination of the forces disrupting the digital News business and how media organizations like CBC News are responding. This talk will examine the impact of smartphones on media consumption, the role of social media and the atomization of content. Brodie will also address the thorny questions of “distributed content,” the walled gardens built by platform giants such as Facebook, and the challenge of serving a moving target like today's digital audience.

Brodie Fenlon joined as managing editor in 2013. A graduate of the journalism program at Western University, Fenlon worked as a reporter for newspapers in London, Ontario and Toronto before moving to digital at the Globe and Mail. In 2011, he helped launch The Huffington Post Canada, where he served as managing editor of news.

New funding for news

The old media business model is failing, journalists across the country have been laid off, and news that is cheap to produce is the order of the day. In addition, media concentration is higher than ever, so that in Alberta all four major daily newspapers have virtually the same content. If journalism is to continue its role as an essential part of democracy in Canada we need to develop new funding models so that journalists have the resources they need to hold governments and other powerful institutions accountable to the public. Does that mean news publishers supported by foundations? Fundraising models like CKUA? Or subscriber-supported special interest web sites like DeSmog Canada? As the old ways of funding news break down it's time to come up with some new ones.

Gillian Steward is