Bookmarks going directly to Nunatsiaq News and other sites will allow readers to continue getting local news
Despite the old saying, no news is actually bad news.
That’s why Nunavummiut, Nunavimmiut and all Canadians should be concerned about plans to block the sharing of news stories from Canadian media on certain social media platforms.
People need to know what’s going on in their communities, in their territory or region, and in their country. That’s why Nunatsiaq News has been serving Nunavut and Nunavik for 50 years.
But a new challenge threatens to disrupt the way we deliver the news and how our readers receive it.
Big tech companies Meta — which owns Facebook — and Google have said they will block the sharing of Canadian news stories on their platforms. Earlier this week, Facebook began doing it.
News organizations including Nunatsiaq News will not be able to post links to their news stories on their Facebook page. Facebook users will eventually not be able to share news stories on their own Facebook pages.
Similarly, Google will prevent users from searching for articles published by Canadian news organizations.
This is their response to the Online News Act — also known as Bill C-18 — a new Canadian law that will take effect later this year.
It will require Facebook and Google to pay news organizations for their content that appears on the big tech companies’ platforms.
Its goal is to compensate Canadian news organizations for the money technology companies make by sharing the content those news organizations generate.
Nunatsiaq News is fortunate. Our readers are loyal and many of them come directly to our website because they have it bookmarked on their browsers.
Obviously, Facebook drives a significant portion of our website’s readership — approximately 25 per cent.
We want that portion of our readers to continue to get the news even after Facebook blocks the sharing of it.
Now that Canadians are beginning to see the effects of Facebook’s and Google’s blocking of Canadian news sources, we have some tips for readers to ensure they keep seeing the news content generated by Nunatsiaq News:
- Bookmark our website, nunatsiaq.com, and come directly to the site instead of counting on Facebook or Google to lead you there;
- Subscribe to the weekly e-edition. It’s a PDF version of the print edition newspaper and is sent by email to subscribers’ inboxes every Friday;
- Look for the print edition. After a three-year break forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nunatsiaq News resumed publishing a print edition in March. Copies of the paper are available at locations in Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Pangnirtung, Kuujjuaq and Ottawa.
The Online News Act ushers in another uncertain time for Canadian news media. We hope cooler heads will prevail and the federal government can negotiate terms that will allow Facebook and Google to continue sharing Canadian news content the way they have done for years.
In the meantime, there are ways to work around the barrier big tech companies are putting up between Canadians and the news about their communities.