MBC has been awarded federal funding to expand its journalism team.

The Local Journalism Initiative comes by way of the federal Department of Canadian Heritage and consists of $50 million to be paid out over five years.

The first round of funding is expected to create over 100 new reporter jobs from the 155 applications received, 29 of which will be in the prairies; the second round of funding will begin in January 2020 and focus primarily on French Canadian press. Organizations in Prince Albert have also received funding to expand their reporting teams.

MBC has used this funding to pick up La Ronge researcher Brandon White to supplement their team. White grew up in La Ronge and has two degrees from the University of Saskatchewan: in Biology and Northern Governance and Development. He says his presence with MBC will be used to report on a variety of topics ranging from culture, art, First Nations and land issues, and environment.

I feel honored to become a part of the MBC family. Growing up MBC kept culture in my ears and thoughts, and I want to pay that forward with quality reporting

The Initiative was created to address losses in the media industry observed over the last decade, with these losses hitting remote, northern, and Indigenous communities disproportionately hard. Stories produced will focus on civics issues in underrepresented communities like La Ronge, and give them an additional federal platform on which to be heard.

MBC CEO Deborah A. Charles was thrilled with MBC’s confirmation of funding, stating that:

“MBC applied for $50,000.00 for the Local News Journalism Initiative funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, which supports the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian society, and the promotion, revitalization, and preservation of Aboriginal languages and cultures. Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation had a strong application with all its supporting documentation. I am more excited to take the News/Journalism training next week in Ottawa.”

Recipients and managers will meet in the nation’s capital next week (January 13-17, 2020) to welcome the cohort and set the stage for their first year of reporting.