Is celebrity gossip your ‘local news’? Ottawa thinks so

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Hockey news, fashion tips, TV and movie listings, retirement strategies, updates on Celine Dion — all of this information now constitutes local media, at least according to federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly.

Last week marked a black spot in the history of Canadian newspapers with the closure of three dozen papers, taking out of circulation three million copies of printed newspapers each week and eliminating more than 300 jobs.

Joly’s response in Ottawa was a refrain that she has been using more and more lately, saying the federal government is already helping news providers. “We value the importance of journalism and that’s why we invest up to $75 million per year in local media,” she said.

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