How Meta Supports News Providers in Canada


  • Over the last five years, we’ve helped more than 120 Canadian news providers grow sustainably, with the vast majority being independent and local news organisations. 
  • Though news article links make up less than 3% of what Canadians see in Feed, we estimate that we sent Canada News Page Index-registered publishers more than 1.9 billion clicks in the last 12 months ending in April 2022.

Journalism plays an important role in seeking out the truth, telling the stories that define Canadians and holding powerful people and institutions accountable. We’re proud of our role in supporting a healthy and diverse news ecosystem. News providers across Canada choose to post news content on our platforms to grow their audiences, increase subscriptions and grow advertising revenue. 

Providing $230 Million in Value to Canadian News Publishers

Though links to news articles only make up less than 3% of what Canadians see in their Feed, we estimate that Facebook Feed sent Canada News Page Index-registered publishers more than 1.9 billion clicks in the last 12 months, ending in April 2022. This additional traffic is worth more than CDN$230 million in estimated value. 

“This is something we all get for free, and I thought ‘What if I had to pay for this distribution?’ The cost to me, compared to what we get today, would be astronomical.” – Jeff Elgie, CEO, Village Media Inc.

News providers in Canada keep all of the revenue from the traffic and subscriptions gained by the links they choose to post. Our free tools and services create pathways for innovative creators to launch new businesses, local publishers to connect with their communities and established media outlets to continue to grow their audiences. 

Investing in Local and Independent Canadian News Organisations

We have invested in programs and partnerships that have supported more than 120 Canadian news providers over the past five years, with the vast majority of those being independent and local news organisations that span digital-first, broadcast and print outlets in both official languages. 

Our past and present investments add up to approximately $18 million in partnerships and programs to encourage and support the development of sustainable business models for news organisations. 

This investment is on top of the $100 million to support the global news industry during the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve invested $1 million in grants for local news, $1 million in grants for fact-checking organisations, a $1 million donation to the International Fact-Checking Network and $300 million to diverse and inclusive news programs and partnerships.

In Canada, we’ve established several programs and partnerships to contribute to the long-term sustainability of journalism and help increase under-represented voices in newsrooms: 

Afghan Journalist-in-Residence Project (2022): In partnership with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), we announced the Afghan Journalist-In-Residence Project. This $1.1 million USD program will create 10 one-year placements for Afghan journalists in newsrooms across Canada. Together, JHR and Meta will help to open up new career opportunities for veteran journalists and contribute toward their collective resettlement in Canada.  

Enhanced Access for BIPOC Youth in Canadian Media Initiative (2022): With funding support from the Meta Journalism Project (MJP), JHR announced the Enhanced Access for BIPOC Youth in Canadian Media Initiative. This first-of-its-kind program aims to build and sustain pipelines of high-potential journalists to help diversify Canada’s media ecosystem. Together, we hope to empower BIPOC youth who experience barriers to access opportunities in Canadian journalism.

“Journalists for Human Rights is pleased to partner with Meta on programming that helps ensure Afghan journalists finding themselves in Canada as refugees through no fault of their own are able to put their valuable journalism skills to work right away. We are also delighted, with the support of both Meta and our network of media partners, to be able to walk the talk on addressing systemic racism in the media in Canada directly. Both programs create pathways to opportunity for journalists from communities of colour that are historically underrepresented in Canadian media, while also working with media partners to help them address barriers to advancement that journalists of colour have historically faced. In doing so, we hope to provide some of the tools needed for Canadian media to look, sound like and report on contemporary multicultural Canada.” – Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director, Journalists for Human Rights

Emerging Journalist Bursary Program (2022): The Canadian Journalism Foundation launched the Emerging Journalist Bursary Program, in partnership with J-Schools Canada-Écoles-J Canada (JSC-ÉJC) and the Meta Journalism Project. This one-year, $200,000 initiative will provide JSC-ÉJC members, which represents 19 post-secondary schools across Canada, with funding to offer up to 100 bursaries to their journalism students. Together, we hope this bursary program will help support students as they look to pursue career development opportunities and find meaningful employment upon graduation. 

News Innovation Test (2021): We’ve partnered with 18 of Canada’s leading news providers to participate in the News Innovation Test. This initiative helps promote a healthy news ecosystem, elevate authoritative journalism and deliver a valuable experience for people on Facebook. As part of this test, we will pay participating news providers for the ability to link to additional news stories not already posted on Facebook, helping us experiment with ways to deliver news on our platform.

“COVID was particularly tough on the media sector. As a result, some have claimed that media is broken. It is not. It is continuously evolving. In that spirit, we are proud to be partnering with Meta to continue our investment in the many communities that make up Canada’s urban centres. Diversity and pluralism matters, and we have a responsibility to explore every angle and tell every story. Our company and our newsroom reflects that diversity, and, with Meta’s help, we look forward to continuing our hiring of even more journalists and content creators, and adding new urban centres to the Daily Hive family.” – Karm Sumal, co-founder and CEO at Daily Hive

Funding the Launch of Indiegraf (2020): We provided seed funding to help launch Indiegraf, a network of journalist-entrepreneurs and independently-owned digital news providers sharing resources to serve their local communities sustainably. Indiegraf aims to make it easier for entrepreneurial journalists to launch digital news outlets and grow. 

“The Meta Journalism Project was early to see the opportunity that journalist entrepreneurs offer to make a positive impact on the local news ecosystem. By supporting Indiegraf from our very beginnings in Canada, Meta has helped us grow indie news outlets in more than 80 communities across North America, making quality community news accessible to more than 25 million people.” – Erin Millar, CEO and co-founder, Indiegraf Media

Working with Indiegraf to support more publishers (2021):  We expanded our partnership with Indiegraf by launching two new programs in 2022 that will help build new revenue streams and sustainable business models for independent news providers. Through the Independent News Sustainability Program and the Network Revenue Growth Program, Indiegraf is working with publishers to test new revenue strategies and research the lifecycle of successful digital news startups.

Partnering with Indiegraf to support BIPOC news organisations (2021):  To foster diverse voices in Canadian media and help fill gaps in local news, we partnered with Indiegraf to fund a grant program aimed at supporting the growth of BIPOC-led news outlets in Canada. The program provided $5,000 to $25,000 grants and support to 10 Canadian media projects owned or led by BIPOC journalists. We also funded a partnership between the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada and Indiegraf to support news services providing coverage to Bengali, Greek, Iranian, Chinese, Sri Lankan and Tamil communities in Canada.

Digital News Innovation Award (2021): Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and at a time when the media landscape is evolving, this award focuses on one of the most pressing issues confronting the news industry: the need for digital innovations to power journalism’s future. Building on our previous award collaboration with the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF), the CJF-MJP Digital News Innovation Award recognizes innovations in digital media with a demonstrated impact in advancing the quality of digital journalism over the next three years. Indiegraf won the inaugural award for helping independent journalist-entrepreneurs and small, community-owned news organisations across Canada launch, grow and fill local news gaps.

Facebook-Canadian Press News Fellowship (2020): We partnered with The Canadian Press (CP) to launch a four-year, $4 million program established to support journalists covering pressing issues in local communities across Canada by creating eight News Fellow positions. Since its launch in early 2020, the program has expanded to include two additional positions specifically for emerging Indigenous journalists, extended for an additional three years, and welcomed four new Fellows in December 2021. Since the Fellowship’s inception, 21 journalists have contributed more than 5,000 stories to the CP news wire and have assisted in unbylined reporting on thousands of others.

“The Meta program allowed us a chance to let talented young people contribute to our journalism in genuinely meaningful ways. It allowed us a chance to invest in BIPOC and Indigenous youth, while finding talent to recruit directly into CP after their terms concluded. It has made a consequential contribution to our work that should not be underestimated.” – Gerry Arnold, Executive Editor, The Canadian Press / La presse canadienne

Community Grants for Local Newsrooms to Support Coronavirus Work (2020): The Meta Journalism Project announced its partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association to offer a total of $1 million in grants to support Canadian and US local news organisations covering the pandemic. Through this partnership, 81 Canadian news providers each received a $5,000 USD grant to cover unexpected costs associated with reporting on the crisis in their communities.

The Digital News Innovation Challenge (2018): The DMZ and the Ryerson School of Journalism at FCAD (Faculty of Communication and Design) partnered with Meta to launch the Digital News Innovation Challenge. The challenge was established to support Canada’s leading digital news ideas and early-stage tech companies whose missions are to drive innovation for journalism. The DMZ and Ryerson School of Journalism selected five start-ups to participate in the accelerator program. In addition to mentorship and networking opportunities, each of the startups received a total of $100,000 in seed capital and a $50,000 Facebook advertising budget. Graduates of the program include the award-winning The Sprawl and The Gist.

Training News Providers on How to Maximise the Value of Meta’s Free Tools

We want our platforms to be valuable tools for news providers that choose to use them.  That’s why we also invest in training news providers on how to maximise their value. In Canada, the Accelerator program has trained more than 150 staff from 33 publishers since its launch in 2018. These publishers have generated nearly $10 million in customer lifetime value and have grown their registered audiences by more than 640,000 — the four-year value of business improvements achieved during their program.

Reader Revenue Accelerator (2022): We welcomed 16 Canadian news organisations into the Meta Journalism Project’s Canada Reader Revenue Accelerator, beginning in February 2022. Participants include: Afros In Tha City, Capital Daily, Coop de solidarité Pivot,, The Chesterville Record, Fort Frances Times, The Hoser, The Hub, L’actualité, Les coops de l’information, La Liberté, PressProgress, SJC Media (St Joseph Communications), Toronto Star, The Walrus and Réseau.Presse (program observer).

“The Reader Revenue Accelerator gave us the opportunity to learn new skills, develop a clearer growth strategy, and exchange ideas with other publishers who share common issues with us; and we learned how to become more data driven and audience oriented to overcome those issues. Most of all, it made us realise that we should not be afraid of testing and sometimes failing — even small steps can take you a long way towards your goal!” – Marc Gendron, Directeur principal, Croissance numérique, Les Coops de l’information

Reader Revenue Accelerators (2021): Thirty news organisations joined the Meta Journalism Project’s first North American Accelerator for 2021, including five Canadian publishers. These organisations participated in our premier business training program for news providers, focusing on reader revenue. Participants include: Black Press Media, The Hill Times, The Breach, La Converse and Peterborough Currents. We announced a second round of this Accelerator program with applications open in October 2021.

Accelerator Alumni Grants (2021): We provided grants to 32 alumni to support continued digital transformation initiatives. Seven Canadian news organisations received grants, totalling $159,500 USD. Recipients include: Glacier Media, Overstory Media Group, Sprawl, The Discourse, The Narwhal, The Tyee and Village Media.

Local News Accelerators (2019-2020): The Meta Journalism Project’s Accelerator program helps news providers build sustainable businesses. Funded and organised by the MJP, each Accelerator includes a three-month period of hands-on workshops led by news industry veterans, grants administered by non-profit journalism organisations, and regular reports on business best practices. In Canada, 15 news organisations participated in Local News Accelerators, including: Postmedia, The Globe and Mail, La Presse, Brunswick News, Winnipeg Free Press, Le Soleil, Glacier Media, The Discourse, The London Free Press, Daily Hive, Northern News Services, The Tyee, The Narwhal, The Sprawl and Village Media.

“The Accelerator super-charged The Narwhal’s membership program at a pivotal moment at the beginning of the pandemic. Two years later, we are still reaping the benefits of the dozens of improvements we made to our website and donation flow.” – Emma Gilchrist, Editor-in-Chief, The Narwhal


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