TVO, the publicly funded broadcaster, will expand its current affairs news coverage after receiving a $2-million gift.
In an announcement made Wednesday, the broadcaster says his is one of the largest philanthropic gifts to journalism in Canada. The money will come from the Barry and Laurie Green Charitable Trust.
The funds will assist in creating a new network of what the broadcaster is describing as news "hubs" throughout the province.
"This extraordinary gift provides TVO with the ability to offer an unparalleled depth of analysis, debate, context and informed opinion," said TVO CEO Lisa de Wilde in a statement. "At a time of severe contraction in journalism, TVO local hubs is about creating more in-depth journalism in communities across Ontario. It's a huge and exciting opportunity."
According to the provincially funded broadcaster, journalists will be hired to "expand and deepen coverage and the hubs will establish partnerships with colleges and universities, creating internship opportunities for students."
The first newsroom hub will be in Thunder Bay, with three more hubs to be announced.
The effect will be to increase the presence of Ontario-centric issues and events, including more in depth coverage of indigenous issues.
The donation comes at a time where newsrooms are downsizing across Canada.
Thousands of jobs have been lost in the industry, as content providers have struggled to survive, with local and investigative news being a casualty. Some have said a philanthropic model is one way that investigative journalism can continue to thrive in a future rocked by economic forces.
"Our family felt it was an important time to create a meaningful impact for the citizens of Ontario," said Barry Green. "We need TVO and the type of journalism it provides now more than ever before: respectful, informed and, above all, based on facts. We hope our gift will address this and inspire others to give as well."
A $500,000 portion of the $2-million donation is contingent on TVO fundraising additional dollars.