A new study shows that people who live in a region where media provide a large proportion of local news are more likely to vote in municipal elections. The analysis, commissioned by CUPE, was filed with the CRTC this week at hearings on the future of local and community television.

“The Influence Communication study has demonstrated that the quantity of regional news has a real impact on participation in elections. We can clearly see that citizens are less likely to vote in the Montreal, Abitibi and Outaouais regions, where the proportion of local news is much lower than elsewhere,” explained Alain Caron, president of the Provincial Council for the Communications Sector (CPSC).

“This analysis justifies raising local news quotas on traditional TV.  Although television is the medium that contributes the least to local news, the Commission should take account of the fact that it is still the main source of news for most Quebecers,” added Nathalie Blais of the CUPE Research Branch.

In its presentation to the CRTC, the CPSC argued that increasing the amount of local news on traditional television (and consequently on the broadcasters’ websites) would enable the Commission to achieve significant democratic objectives of the Broadcasting Act.

CUPE’s Provincial Council for the Communications Sector represents some 7,700 workers in Quebec.