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So here is the proposed plan with a budget allocation of $409,000 in 2015-16 budget.
Translating all media releases into 10 ethnic languages- $225,000.
Monitoring ethnic media-$50,000
Expanding cultural celebration and cost of running advertising programs- $ 40,000. Hiring an ethnic media coordinator-$ 94,000.
All along it seemed all would go according to plan for Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey, but this week, city councillors thought about the issue a little more and their verdict was that the proposed ethnic media plan needed to be scaled back.
Regional Councillor John Sprovieri made some valid suggestions, like perhaps the ethnic media coordinator position that would cost the city $94,000 could be done by an existing city employee.
It is a very well-known fact that many ethnic media outlets have little or no credibility. They exist simply in name, some newspapers are printed occasionally, others poorly distributed and carry badly written stories. Councillor Sprovieri wondered about the credibility and press credential of the media outlets who would receive advertising dollars.
But not all the new media proposals are wrong, cities tend to advertise in “traditional” media which means the mainstream city newspaper often owned and controlled by a powerful media house. Very little of the advertising budget is left over for genuine ethnic media outlets. It then becomes a classic Catch-22 case, cash-starved newspapers can’t hire good reporters which ends up in putting out a shoddy product.
Councillors also voted to reduce the number of languages identified for translations from the 11 (including French) to the top three languages spoken in Brampton — Punjabi, Urdu and Portuguese.
Sprovieri and others on council questioned the value of translating information into so many languages.
With the changes to the immigration system, most new immigrants are better educated and are fluent in written or spoken English or French. Even spouses of the principle applicant now find themselves attending English language classes before they sit for their Canadian citizenship test. And with Google translator, there may be a cheaper way to communicate in different languages via the internet.
Councillor Sprovieri and other right minded individuals in Brampton are rightly concerned about such large sums of money potentially ending up in the pockets of so-called media owners and publishers who come out with publications that few read or follow online.