(Montreal) Quebecour believes that the eligibility criteria for various media assistance programs put it at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. Media empire, which has in particular Montreal Magazine and TVA, a public interest channel, recently launched new approaches with the Quebec government so that its specialist media can access tax credits to support the digital transformation of media.
The Montreal Corporation has appointed a lobbying group to represent it with the Ministry of Finance. Quebecor requests that credit eligibility criteria be expanded so that Chip bagAnd in 5 minutesAnd WalletAnd BillyAnd Silo57 And weight at start Only they are eligible.
Claude E. Godwin, an attorney specializing in tax law at Fasken in Montreal, wrote when she was registered with the Quebec lobbyist registry. His term began on September 27 and lasts for a year.
In an interview, Mathieu Torpede, Vice President of Digital Content at Kibecor, identified this mandate as part of a broader series of interventions that also relate to other programs and other media. “We want global support,” he pleads. We don’t want customized solutions for one medium or the other. ”
Mr. Turbide asserts that the tax credit criteria for digital transformation of the media, but also to support written journalism, “punish” Kibekor.
The Digital Transformation Tax Credit provides reimbursement for 35% of digital conversion costs incurred by print, paper, digital, or mobile media, up to a maximum of $7 million. The Print Media Support Credit provides a 35% refundable tax credit on journalists’ salaries up to a maximum of $26,250 per employee.
question of structure
To be eligible for these two credits, the medium must cover at least three topics from a list of seven: politics, world of municipalities, international situation, culture, business and economy, local news and miscellaneous facts.
However, specialized media in Quebec do not cover three of the seven topics listed. This is the case potato chips bag, a site for unusual gossip and viral news, or Silo57whose theme is the art of living.
Kibecor has chosen to distribute this niche content in a medium with its own identity, because it believes that this strategy makes it possible to better reach its target audience, explains Mr. Turbide. This business decision excludes journalists working there from the payroll tax exemption. On the other hand, journalists who cover these topics in the general written media are eligible, he laments.
Mr. Torpedo would also like his news agency QMI to get the credits, which is not the case for news organizations. He would also like this to be the case for TVA and LCN TV journalists. “Our editorial rooms are under the same pressure compared to the ad competition from the web giants.”
At the Ministry of Finance, we were not in a position to give an immediate reaction.
Do we need help?
Before donating money from public funds to specialized media in Quebec, the government should think about its social mission, believes Jean-Hug Roy, a professor at UQAM’s School of Media. Media support requires public funds, but this is not a buffet. ”
If it is found that the site in five minutes He has an educational component, he believes that taxpayers should not be funded Chip bagwhich publish entertaining content to attract clicks, he said. ” Chip bag, these are the information trans fats. ”
He adds that media outlets that receive taxpayer money must meet standards and be held accountable, as does Radio Canada, which has an ombudsman. He believes that Quebec’s participation in the Quebec Press Council should be a condition for obtaining public assistance. Montreal Magazine and TVA Group are no longer members of the Board of Directors since 2010 and 2008, respectively. Quebec media are not members either.
Mr. Torpedo does not believe that membership of the Press Council should be a requirement. He said he “doesn’t see the connection” between the honor court and the media aid. “I believe we are a press company that has proven itself in the quality of the information we distribute day in and day out,” Mr. Torbide replied. Our journalists are as respected and professional as other media. ”
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