Saturday, July 13, 2024


The future is uncertain. A Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) commissioned study published in August 2020 forecasted significant chances for Canada's local news industry. In 'The Crisis in Canadian Media and the Future of Local Broadcasting', it is expected that through the end of 2022, an estimated shortfall of revenue in the ballpark of $1.06 billion will result in newsroom closures and “widespread job cuts” across television and radio operations. These are primarily effects driven by the headwinds from digital competitors and declining advertising. At the highest risk of closure are small-market, private TV and radio stations.

Staying Alive: Keeping Canadian newsrooms alive, vibrant, and diverse

How do journalists, producers, and public policymakers ensure that we maintain and grow healthy newsrooms across the country? This podcast, Staying Alive, seeks tangible solutions and strategies fit for today’s economy as we emerge from a global pandemic. We discuss ways to rethink local news, give a voice to our diverse communities, and most importantly, how to keep the lights on. We interview media executives, academic experts, and producers on the evolution of local news to shed light on best practices and strategies to become more competitive and relevant in today’s global market.


Staying Alive: Trailer (S01)

Listen to strategies that journalists, producers, and public policymakers of today can grow the business using emerging platforms, diversify voices, and most importantly, do so in a way that’s true to why journalism remains to be critical to democracy today.

Season 2 Full Episodes

Staying Alive: Post-Pandemic Broadcasting with Adrian Harewood (S02E01)

From FAST streaming news channels to continued remote production, journalism professor Adrian Harewood analyzes the effects of post-pandemic local broadcasting in Canada.

Staying Alive: The Reality of Freelancing with Nora Loreto (S02E02)

As freelance journalism increasingly becomes the norm in the broadcasting industry, Canadian Freelance Union President Nora Loreto discusses strategies for entrepreneurs to succeed in a challenging media environment.

Staying Alive: Understanding News Deserts with Anita Li (S02E03)

Newsroom convergence means Canada has seen a rise in news deserts and ghost newsrooms. Media consultant Anita Li explores the consequences, effects and innovative solutions on geographic and cultural communities across the country.

Staying Alive: The Rise of AI in Newsrooms with Gavin Adamson (S02E04)

The rise of artificial intelligence has caused analysts to reflect on the possibilities of almost every industry, including journalism. Journalism professor Gavin Adamson on tools like ChatGPT and their implications for media ethics, practice and education.

Staying Alive: Engaging the Public with Shireen Ahmed (S02E05)

With social media and increased online engagement in local news, there are not only more voices in a polarized news ecosystem, but greater distrust in the journalism industry. Journalist Shireen Ahmed discusses fostering healthy dialogue while building public trust.

Staying Alive: Expanding Indigenous Journalism in Broadcasting with Melissa Ridgen (S02E06)

Improving reporting on Indigenous issues isn’t just about increasing coverage. Journalist and producer Melissa Ridgen discusses changing structures in television news and bringing best practices to enterprise reporting.

Staying Alive: Breaking Down Public Policy’s Role in Local Broadcasting with Anja Karadeglija (S02E07)

With major legislative changes surrounding news delivery in Canada, tech and news organizations are mapping their next moves. Parliamentary reporter Anja Karadeglija discusses the function of the broadcast regulator in the digital age.

Staying Alive: Trauma-Informed Broadcasting and Mental Well-being with Tamara Cherry and Mark Henick (S02E08)

With heightened awareness of the realities of difficult storytelling and the demands of work, journalistic practice has been pushed to evolve. Journalist Tamara Cherry and author and advocate Mark Henick discuss newsrooms’ responsibility to workers and sources.

Season 1 Full Episodes

Staying Alive: The Issues with April Lindgren (S01E01)

Understanding the issues of local news today: How it started and how it's going. We take a look at the critical issues in the business of journalism and areas of opportunity.

Staying Alive: The Business with Colette Watson (S01E02)

The evolving business models of local news, successes, challenges, and the importance of considering diversity in public policy.

Staying Alive: Growing Digital with Jeff Elgie (S01E03)

Strategies to grow a digital-only news publishing business, and how to define local in a globalized, streaming market.

Staying Alive: The Future with Irene Berkowitz (S01E04)

With social media becoming a major distributor of our local news, should they have a role in funding the sustainability of our newsrooms? Reflections from a professor on the future of local media.

Host and Executive Producer: Winston Sih

Season Two
Produced in association with Journalism at The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University and J-Source.
Editor: Carolina Pucciarelli
Managing Editor, J-Source: Steph Wechsler
News Media Production Specialist (Audio & Radio), Toronto Metropolitan University: Angela Glover
Instructional Technology & Web Design Specialist, Toronto Metropolitan University: Lindsay Hanna

Season One
Produced in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Media Production at Toronto Metropolitan University.
Editor: Kattie Laur
Supervisor: Ramona Pringle, Associate Professor, RTA School of Media, Toronto Metropolitan University
Second Reader: Gavin Adamson, Co-Interim Chair and Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Toronto Metropolitan University

Photo credit: Unsplash; Music credit: Motion Array

© Winston Sih, 2023