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CRTC issues new policy on community television channels

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has issued a new policy intended to give Canadians more participation in community television channels. According to the commission, the policy is also intended to ensure that community channels reflect the interests of local citizens. The will policy require that community members be involved in the creation of at least half of a community channel's programming, including original ideas for programs and their production. Additionally, at least half of a channel's programming expenditures must be devoted to this type of programming, as well as to community outreach initiatives and the training of volunteers. The new requirements will take effect on Sept. 1, 2014. Cable companies will also be required to submit annual information on the funding allocated to community television channels beginning in 2012. "Community channels give Canadians the unique ability to see themselves and their neighbourhoods, towns and cities reflected on television," said Michel Arpin, vice-chairman of broadcasting at the CRTC. "This can only be achieved through equal partnerships between cable companies and the communities they serve. Access to the broadcasting system must be as open as possible, especially for people who are new to the production of television programming."

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