Canadian News Publishers Say Loss of Google and Facebook Referral Traffic Would Devastate Them

Raisa Patel, last month in the Toronto Star:

Jeff Elgie, the CEO of community news company Village Media, told senators studying the bill that Google and Facebook generate more than 50 per cent of his digital company’s web traffic.

“If that traffic was lost, the business would be over,” said Elgie, whose company owns 25 local news publications across Ontario.

The future of Canadian journalism looks bleak. Expect to see aggressive ad campaigns for publishers’ apps as they attempt to recover traffic.

Meanwhile, expect to see publishers outside Canada thrive as Google has only said it will remove links to Canadian publishers from its search engine. Local journalism has been made less tenable. This has always been a terrible policy and, contrary to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s optimism, one I doubt will be widely copied as-is.