Because it is especially the regions that are suffering the effects of cuts in the media, the PQ Harold Lebel claims that the parliamentary commission that will take stock of the future of information travels to the four corners of Quebec.
“There is a regional vitality issue in there. More media is lost, the less we talk about us, more we lose our identity, “says the member from Rimouski interview Soleil .
The Parti Québécois asked the Committee on Culture and Education to travel in the coming months to different regions to hear from journalists, media owners and citizens, instead of inviting all those the National Assembly, in Quebec City.
“We are of the opinion that resolving the fate of remote areas while staying in the capital would send a curious message. Conversely, a traveling commission would prove that the National Assembly is serious when it says that in Quebec, local and regional information is important, “writes Mr. Lebel in his letter.
Mr. Lebel does not consider it necessary to hold public hearings in each of Quebec’s 17 regions, but at least in some of them, in order to encourage the participation of local stakeholders.
“What is needed is to go to the field. To feel what is happening and to understand how much information in the region is difficult to make. When we are in our bubble in Quebec City, in Montreal, we do not realize it, “says Mr. Lebel.
The member says he does not want to “blame the journalists, who do what they can with the means they have.” He is concerned, however, that weeklies close their doors or television stations drastically reduce their number of positions.
The member says that in his riding, he is fortunate to have some regional media, which he was able to address during the last election campaign. Which is not the case for all his colleagues. “If the media coverage of the campaign is only national, the vote will not be for the local candidate. In my opinion, it is a snag to democracy, “he judges.
Mr. Lebel believes that not only Quebecers are not often informed about what is happening in remote areas, but also in these suburban cities that surround Montreal and Quebec, and that the mainstream media, which also suffer financial difficulties – cover very little. “We should go to the 450 with the parliamentary committee, because in many places there are media gaps,” he said.
The Committee on Culture and Education agreed on March 21 to look into the crisis in the media today to identify possible solutions. The elected officials want to try to answer the challenges of the financing of the press companies, the valorization of the local role of the information, the viability of the business models in the digital era and the independence of the media.