加拿大政府:投资3000万广告帮助媒体应对COVID-19影响

总理贾斯汀?特鲁多(Justin Trudeau),资料图片

OTTAWA — The federal government announced Wednesday that it is planning a $30-million COVID-19 awareness advertising campaign and moving closer to implementing long-promised tax credits for newspapers as it seeks to support Canada’s struggling media industry during the pandemic.

Yet the measures were immediately deemed by some as insufficient to deal with the financial pinch that newspapers, broadcasters and other media organizations, many of which were struggling even before COVID-19, are now facing as their advertising revenues evaporate.

渥太华消息—联邦政府周三宣布,它计划开展一项耗资3000万加元的广告以帮助国人认识了解COVID-19,并进一部实施对报纸承诺的长期税收抵免,以期在疫情期间支持加拿大苦苦挣扎的媒体行业。

消息一出,即刻便有人认为这些措施不足以解决报纸、广播公司和其它媒体组织的财务困境,其中许多甚至在COVID-19之前就已经在苦苦挣扎了,如今它们正面临广告收入的蒸发。

Several media organizations have blamed that collapse in revenue for their decision this week to lay off hundreds of journalists and support workers, and shift their operations by closing or combining publications and ending print editions during the week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previewed the coming support during his daily appearance outside his Ottawa residence, where he emphasized the importance of Canadians having accurate information while thanking journalists for doing their jobs.

数家媒体机构本周解雇了数百名记者和相关技术支持人员,并关闭或合并出版物,停止了印刷业务。他们将这一切归咎于收入的大幅下跌。

总理贾斯汀?特鲁多(Justin Trudeau)在其渥太华住所外“每日露面”时预览了即将实施的支持方案,他在讲话中强调了加拿大人拥有准确信息的重要性,同时感谢记者所做的工作。

“Right now, it is more important than ever that Canadians have access to the latest news and information,” Trudeau said. “To ensure that journalists can continue to do this vital work, our government is announcing new measures to support them.”

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault later announced the government plans to spend $30 million on an advertising campaign to raise awareness about COVID-19 — money that he promised would go primarily to Canadian media organizations.

特鲁多说:“目前,加拿大人有渠道了解最新新闻和信息比以往任何时候都重要。为了确保记者能够继续从事这项至关重要的工作,政府宣布了新的措施来支持他们。”

遗产部长史蒂芬?吉尔伯特(Steven Guilbeault)随后宣布,政府将计划花费3000万美元进行广告宣传,以提高人们对COVID-19的认识,他承诺将这笔钱主要用于加拿大媒体组织。

Those include Canadian newspapers, magazines, television stations and online publications, Guilbeault said, “so the revenues generated by this campaign can breathe new life into our media.”

吉尔伯特说,这些活动包括加拿大的报纸、杂志、电视台和在线出版物,“因此,这项活动产生的收入可以为我们的媒体注入新的活力。”

The federal government has spent on average about $39 million per year on advertising since the Liberals came to power in 2016, according to official figures. That represented just more than half what it spent each year between 2010 and 2015 when the Conservatives were in government.

Those increasingly scarce advertising dollars have also shifted more and more away from newspapers, radio and television toward online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which are not Canadian-owned.
Guilbeault also said the government has finished putting together a panel tasked with assessing whether media organizations qualify for three different tax measures that were first promised last year.

根据官方数据,自2016年自由党上台以来,联邦政府平均每年在广告上的花费约3900万美元。这仅占保守党政府在2010年至2015年期间每年支出的一半多一点。

那些越来越稀缺的广告费用也越来越多地从报纸、广播和电视转向非加拿大的在线平台,如Facebook,Twitter和Instagram。吉尔伯特还表示,政府已经组成一个专们小组去评估媒体组织是否符合去年首次承诺的三种不同的税收措施。

The most significant is a tax credit that qualified newspapers can claim on up to 25 per cent of the wages or salaries they pay to their journalists or other eligible employees. The credit, which is not available to broadcasters, is retroactive to salaries that were paid starting on Jan. 1, 2019.

“It is essential that Canadians can obtain authoritative, well-sourced and factual information related to COVID-19,” Guilbeault said. “This is why the government of Canada is taking immediate action so Canadians can continue to access diverse and reliable sources of news.”

The measures were widely criticized as too little to make a real difference, including by the head of one large newspaper chain in Atlantic Canada that laid off 240 employees — or about 40 per cent of its workforce — on Tuesday and shuttered several of its publications.

最重要的是税收抵免,符合条件的报纸可以申报25%以内的他们支付给记者或其他资格雇员的工资或薪水。该抵税额不适用于广播公司2019年1月1日开始支付的薪水。

Guilbeault说:“加拿大人获得与COVID-19有关的权威的、来源真实的和实事求是的信息至关重要。这就是加拿大政府立即采取行动的原因,这样加拿大人就可以继续获取各种可靠的新闻资源。”

人们普遍批评这些措施力度太少,无法真正使事情有所改变,就像加拿大大西洋省的一家大型报纸连锁机构的负责人在周二解雇了240名员工(约占其劳动力的40%),并关闭了几份刊物。

“This is not going to help us,” said SaltWire Network president Mark Lever. “Our business, we see two-thirds of our revenue at risk here. I mean it went away overnight with cancellations and businesses shuttered.”

Lever was skeptical newspapers would get very much of the promised new advertising money, suggesting broadcasters and online platforms would see the lion’s share. And he said newspapers were already working the tax credits into their business models before COVID-19.

“It’s money due to us that’s been frankly already spent,” he said. “So it’s a shame to see that the aid package is repurposing money already committed.”

SaltWire网络总裁Mark Lever说:“这计划帮不到我们。我们的业务三分之二的收入处于风险之中。我的意思是,它能在一夜之间因取消订单和生意倒闭而消失。”

Lever对报纸能否获得承诺的新广告收入持怀疑态度,认为广播公司和网络平台将是最大受益者。他还说,在COVID-19之前,报纸就已经将税收抵免纳入了他们的商业模式。

“坦白地讲,这原本就是我们的早该花掉的钱。” Lever说道,“因此,看到援助计划正在重新利用已经承诺的资金,实在是一件令人遗憾的事情。”

Bob Cox, publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press and chair of News Media Canada, bluntly accused Trudeau of lying when he spoke of new measures to support journalism.

温尼伯自由出版社发行人、加拿大新闻媒体主席鲍勃?考克斯(Bob Cox)在谈到支持新闻业的新举措施时直言不讳地指责特鲁多撒谎。

All the government has done is re-announce measures “that were first announced a year ago that have been mismanaged and delayed and to date have provided zero dollars to news outlets,” Cox said in an opinion piece to be published Thursday in some newspapers.

考克斯在周四将发表在些报纸上的一篇评论文章中谈到,政府所做的就是重新宣布“一年前首次宣布的措施,这些措施管理不善且被拖延,迄今为止它未向任何新闻媒体提供过任何帮助。”

SaltWire wasn’t the only newspaper group to lay off staff this week. More than 140 employees of a co-operative that owns six daily newspapers outside Montreal were also temporarily laid off on Monday and the organization said it was ceasing print editions during the week.

SaltWire 也不是本周唯一裁员的报纸集团。周一在蒙特利尔以外拥有六家日报的合作组织的140多名员工也被临时解雇,该组织表示将在一周内停止印刷业务。

Lever said what news organizations really need is more liquidity to be able to ride out the precipitous drop in revenue until after COVID-19. That and for the government to finally take action against foreign social-media sites that circulate news content for free while stealing ad revenue.

Lever表示,新闻机构真正需要的是更大的流动性,藉此能够度过收入的急剧下降,撑到COVID-19疫情结束。如此,政府便最终可以对外国社交媒体网站采取行动,这些网站免费传播新闻内容,同时抢夺广告收入。

Daniel Bernhard, executive director of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, echoed that assessment, noting Facebook, Twitter and other sites continue to benefit from Canadian journalism while being free of having to pay any corporate tax.

加拿大广播之友执行董事丹尼尔?伯恩哈德(Daniel Bernhard)对此表示赞同,并指出Facebook,Twitter和其他网站一直并继续受益于加拿大新闻业,又不缴纳任何公司税。

Bernhard was also skeptical that the measures announced on Wednesday would make a huge difference to media organizations, adding he was worried the government would be slow in approving tax credits or other assistance at a time when it is facing so many other challenges.

“Not only are these measures small and were probably insufficient when times were normal, I’m not confident that they’ll be able to get this package out the door with enough time to be helpful,” he said.

伯恩哈德还对周三宣布的这一计划是否能对媒体组织产生重大影响表示怀疑,他补充说,担心政府在面临许多其他挑战时,批准税收抵免或其他援助计划的步伐会很慢。

他说:“这些措施不仅力度很小,而且在正常情况下可能都还不够用,我不相信他们有足够的时间将这个方案推出去救局”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.
Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
加拿大出版社的这份报告于2020年3月25日首次发表
Lee Berthiaume,加拿大出版社

翻译:马丽霞、吕芳

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