Thursday, March 01, 2012

Magazines Canada letter to MPs challenges them to support domestic magazine industry

Magazines Canada has sent a release to all members of the House of Commons encouraging them to support Heritage Minister James Moore's streamlining and modernization of programs supporting cultural industries, particularly the Canada Periodical Fund. The release, in the form of a letter signed by the Magazines Canada chair, Deborah Morrison, the publisher of Canada's History and Kayak magazines, says that the new CPF is laudable because levels of support are based on consumer acceptance and gives publishers flexibility in where they invest public support.
The letter, in part, addresses some MPs' criticism of public money going to large publishing companies:
Criticizing our leading companies and governments for utilizing taxpayer dollars to achieve policy goals is a well- travelled road in this country, and it’s unfortunate. Some U.S. publishing companies are larger than Canada’s entire magazine publishing sector and U.S. magazines dominate newsstands across Canada. This does not just affect the availability of Canadian content. It affects Canadian commerce. Canadian businesses, in every sector, advertise their products and services in Canadian trade and consumer magazines. When consumers choose a foreign magazine and make purchasing decisions, they may end up bypassing Canadian suppliers for foreign ones....
Rather than criticize the modest investments made to support this tremendous success, we should be looking to position the industry to best take advantage of the opportunities of the vastly expanding world of digital media and firmly establish Canada’s presence in it. Will Canadians have the creative jobs in both content development and delivery platforms in this global business or will they go to others? Can Canada replicate the success it has had with homegrown magazines in the digital universe or will online content all come from beyond our borders?
The full text of the letter is available on the Magazines Canada website.

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