CBC: Canadian authors make less money than ever

From Deana Sumanac-Johnson at CBC:

When the Writers’ Union of Canada recently surveyed its members about their incomes, the results were sobering: an average writer made $9,380 a year from his or her writing. That’s 27 per cent less than what writers made three years ago, and a whopping 78 per cent less than they made in 1998.

The report comes in stark contrast to the glossy literary awards season, where champagne flows and prizes that sound lucrative are given out, culminating with the $100,000 Giller Prize, which is handed out this Monday.

Inevitably,

At the Toronto Reference Library, a Writers’ Union-organized talk called Get That Grant packs a room, with writers new and seasoned trying to learn how to supplement their income with grants so they can keep writing. More.

Reality check: So taxpayers must pay for their work. But we are not yet forced to read it.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are now subsidizing newspapers because of their supposed contribution to society:

The federal government is expected to lay out fresh plans next week to support Canada’s struggling news industry.

The measures, expected in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fall economic statement Wednesday, will be designed to help journalism remain viable after years of shrinking advertising revenues.

The decline has already shuttered newsrooms, led to job cuts in many others, and eroded coverage of key democratic institutions across Canada — everything from municipal councils to provincial legislatures to Parliament. More.

If the Conservatives form a government, they must put a stop to subsidizing the killing of trees.

I told one Conservative nominee today:

In the day of the handheld, anyone can be a news gatherer and disseminator. Public funding tends to mean that traditional news organizations are PR agencies for socialist governments, with now merely the veneer of third-party sources.

Don’t make Stephen Harper’s mistake. The legacy media already know what you think so expect no mercy if you fail to reduce them to the level they now belong in: Anyone can now report the news. Whether people listen is a private matter.

But on the off chance the Conservatives form a government, will they just forget and stumble over the problem again on the way down?

See also: Six in ten in U.S. say White House has right to suspend press passes People haven’t gone authoritarian. They just aren’t depending on the press gallery for news they way we used to.

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