META to shut down CFRC (and all Canadian News Producers) on Facebook and Instagram
August 8, 2023
Recently, you may have heard about Meta (formerly known as Facebook) taking a significant step in Canada. They have made the decision to block ALL news sources in the country, affecting not only Facebook but also Instagram. 📵
CFRC, like other campus/community radio stations across Canada must produce a minimum of 15% news content in our programming. However, due to Meta's banning of all broadcasters that carry news content in Canada from its platform in response to federal legislation, CFRC, like all radio stations in Canada, are caught in the middle of a battle between the Canadian government and Meta and expects to lose access to its platforms in the coming days. Several of our colleages at other stations in Canada have already lost access.
Please write your MP. Letter Template here.
The National Campus/Community Radio Association has some quick knowledge below:
📅 This decision was reported in the news as of August 1, 2023. You can read more about it here: 🔗 Fortune: https://fortune.com/2023/08/01/meta-facebook-news-blocking-in-canada/
🔗 CTV News: https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/all-news-in-canada-will-be-removed-from-facebook-instagram-within-weeks-meta-1.6502469
🔗 National Post: https://nationalpost.com/news/why-meta-is-blocking-news-in-canada
🔗 CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2242196547793CBC:
🤔 You might be wondering why Meta has taken such a drastic measure. According to these reports, there are a few key reasons behind this decision:
1️⃣ Disagreement Over News Content: Meta has been in ongoing disputes with news organizations over the content displayed on their platforms. These disagreements could not be resolved, leading to the blocking of news sources entirely.
2️⃣ Proposed Legislation: The situation in Canada may be linked to proposed legislation that would have required social media companies to pay for news content shared on their platforms. Meta might have concerns about the potential financial impact and implications of this proposed law.
3️⃣ Misinformation and Fake News: With the rise of misinformation and fake news circulating on social media, Meta has faced criticism for its handling of such content. Blocking news sources might be an attempt to address these concerns and avoid potential legal consequences.
🔍 It’s essential to stay informed, and while this development might impact your access to news on Meta’s platforms, there are alternative sources to keep yourself updated on current events. Make sure to follow credible news outlets directly or use other social media platforms for reliable information.
Why does this impact Community Radio?
Not-For-Profit Radio was unanimously included in amendments to Bill C18 as it was passed because these stations are required by license to create local news (15%, the only license required to do so). Meta refused to meet with Campus/Community Radio associations, and with the inclusion of them as mandated participants in discussion, these stations were put on the ban list – even though they are not 100% news outlets.
📣 Concerned citizens of Canada, your voice matters! Do you care about access to local news from a local broadcaster? Do you care about learning about other programming initiatives at CFRC (or other stations) that you won't be able to see on social media after a ban? If you disagree with Meta’s decision to block news broadcasters in our country, it’s crucial to take action and let your concerns be heard. You can make a difference by reaching out to your Member of Parliament (MP) and Meta directly.
🏛️ Contact your MP: As elected representatives, MPs are here to advocate for your interests. Express your concerns about the impact of this news block on access to information and the importance of reliable news sources. Urge them to engage in dialogue with Meta and work towards a resolution that benefits both users and news organizations.
FIND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR YOUR MP HERE: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/
📧 Reach out to Meta: Let Meta know how you feel about their decision and its implications. Be respectful but assertive in voicing your opposition to the news block and highlight the significance of access to diverse and trustworthy news content. Your feedback can contribute to shaping their policies and approach moving forward.
Together, we can make a difference in ensuring that the public’s right to access reliable information is upheld. Let’s take action and stand up for an open and informed society! 🗣️🌐 #SpeakUp #VoiceYourConcerns #AccessToNews
In the meantime, CFRC 101.9 FM will continue to post on social media as long as possible and you can stay up to date with programming and news headlines on our website AND our Twitter (or is it X??) account @CFRC.
We're proud to serve our Queen's and Kingston communities with both informative news and discussion in addition to fabulous and entertaining musical programming. Thank you so much for your support!
Letter Template to write your MP. Feel free to copy, paste and edit or Download the Letter Template here.
Mailing Address of MP Constituency Office Here (FIND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR YOUR MP HERE: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/ )
Dear Name of MP
Re: CFRC 101. 9 FM, local & regional news, and access to campus station content
As you may be aware, CFRC 101.9 FM at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario is the longest running global campus broadcaster and the second oldest radio station in Canada broadcasting since 1922. Its captures Brockville-Belleville, ON and Westport, ON-Watertown NY in its broadcast area in addition to many thousands of listeners nationally and internationally on its online stream. I’m writing as an active volunteer/avid listener to CFRC 101.9 FM from my community (name of community) in your riding (name of riding).
CFRC, like all other campus and community radio stations across Canada, is a critical source of local news; talk radio; free, accessible musical entertainment; and translatable job-skills training in research and communications for students and community members alike.
I am extremely concerned that CFRC’s social media channels on Facebook and Instagram (known together as META), have been banned in META’s recent response to Canadian federal legislation: Bill C-18 Chapter 23: An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada. CFRC, as a campus broadcaster, is required by virtue of its CRTC licence to carry local news programming and it is impacted by META’s response to federal legislation. News links and ALL content posted by CFRC is now no longer viewable on Facebook or Instagram by people in Canada. Access to local news, events, initiatives and musical programming on campus/community radio is incredibly important for me and listeners to inform/stay informed and also provide/enjoy wonderful entertainment by CFRC’s many volunteers who share the latest and local independent news and music that isn’t accessible elsewhere.
YOUR PERSONAL INPUT ON WHY CFRC AND ITS ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE ON SOCIAL MEDIA MATTERS TO YOU HERE FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE AS A COMMUNITY LISTENER OR VOLUNTEER
While recognizing the utility of social media in sharing breaking news digitally and beyond CFRC’s broadcast schedule with the community, I also understand that CFRC’s annual fee levies from students at Queen’s University and its annual Funding Drive revenues are closely linked with discoverability and access to announcements on social media. The station’s ability to communicate news and fundraising initiatives upon which its core operational funding rests, is imperilled by META’s blockage of CFRC from communicating with its social media followers. While the station has an FM signal to reach its current audience, not everyone is tuning in up to the minute 24 hours a day. The importance of social media to promoting and amplifying station programming, initiatives and critical breaking local news is huge. Followers can click a link to a story on CFRC’s website and learn more about local news and upcoming programs that its many dedicated volunteers and its news team produce every day. People who have not listened to the station can discover it through social media as well and become active listeners and supporters through student fees and its funding drive.
Facebook and Instagram are, in this day in age, quite critical to every media source’s discoverability, CFRC’s included. I care about CFRC, but know others in my community access their news and entertainment on other local radio stations and online news resources, and like me, are also impacted by META’s blockage of free access to information in response to federal legislation. I’m writing in support of CFRC, but also recognize others in my community get news and entertainment updates from other local news sources who publish content on Facebook and Instagram. CFRC and all other news broadcast and publication sources in your riding, and across Canada, need your support.
Further, I understand CFRC 101.9 FM is also a community hub. Local arts groups and community helping organizations rely on CFRC to help them spread the word on not only their services and volunteer opportunities, but also upcoming events and initiatives, communications the station shares regularly on social media on behalf of its community partners. If CFRC (and ALL other local news organizations) are unable to share information via Facebook and Instagram, this will also have tremendous impact on discoverability for local organizations (be they nonprofits or grassroots groups) to communicate about their group and its initiatives. Not all local organizations are blessed with funds to pay for advertising and CFRC provides opportunities for community groups to communicate with the community at no cost. Airtime on CFRC through free PSAS, free social media posts, and free interviews in its news and musical programming is critical for residents to know about upcoming community events, concerts and festivals and helping services available to people in need. Further, airtime on CFRC ensures local and regional listeners remain informed about what is happening in their civic culture-knowledge that is absolutely critical to participating in and making informed democratic decisions at local, regional, and national levels.
CFRC runs on its core operational budget of about $250,000/year with 1 full time and 2 part time staff members who support 125 volunteers. CFRC also has a grant-funded Local Journalism Initiative program journalist on staff full time, at least until next spring. CFRC (and other campus/community stations in Canada) absolutely require additional core and stable funding that would allow them to sustainably produce local news and musical programming that keeps our community both informed and entertained.
In the short term, would you support reallocating advertising from web giants to community radio?
Can you support CFRC and other campus/community stations in the long run by supporting the Community Radio Initiative, which will provide core and stable funding for stations like ours across the country?
Can you also support the renewal of the Local Journalism Initiative, funding for which was not included in this year’s Federal Budget? Without this renewal, CFRC will not have funds available to pay a full-time journalist to research and produce broadcast news content. Without core stable funds, CFRC cannot maintain a full roster of full-time staff to support all aspects of station operations including administration, programming, repairs and maintenance, and sales & marketing.
Can you also support re-engagement and reasonable federal negotiations with META? All Canadians deserve free, and freely accessible information about local news and programming via their preferred print, online, and radio platforms including CFRC 101.9 FM. Every community member in Kingston and the Islands and our surrounding regions also need access to CFRC’s social media so it can inform them of critical and breaking campus and local news updates outside its broadcast schedule and to inform them about services and events in the region that are meaningful to them.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Access to campus/community radio programming and social media is especially important now as news desks, local radio broadcasting and print media across the country continues to recede with layoffs and office closures meaning that thousands of Canadians across Canada have no access to local news period.
Community member/volunteer full name
Volunteer show name/date time
Dinah Jansen – CFRC 101.9 FM Radio Queen’s University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Barry Rooke – National Campus and Community Radio Association (Barry@ncra.ca)
Alex Freedman - Community Radio Fund of Canada (Alex@crfc-fcrc.ca)
Pascale St-Onge - Minister of Canadian Heritage (email@example.com)