Brishti Basu · CBC News ·

A federal program that funds hundreds of local journalists and underserved regions across the country is set to expire at the end of March, and the independent newsrooms that rely on it have no news about whether it will be renewed.

The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI), created by the Canadian Heritage ministry in 2019, doled out $50 million over five years. News organizations could apply and receive money to hire journalists or pay freelance journalists to report on underserved communities and issues.

But LJI funding is scheduled to end on March 31, and there are no answers on whether it will be renewed.

“In total, there are over 400 LJI reporters across Canada at nearly 300 media outlets serving some 1,400 local communities,” said Paul Deegan, president and CEO of News Media Canada, which is one of six groups that administer LJI funding.

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