Toronto Star publisher joins Facebook program paying Canadian media orgs for news

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TORONTO — Torstar Corp. has joined Facebook Inc.’s program that pays media companies for use of their content on the tech company’s platform.

The company says the publisher of the Toronto Star will receive payments in exchange for Facebook getting the ability to link to news stories not already posted on the social media platform.

Facebook says 17 Canadian publishers are already part of the program it calls the news innovation test.

Those publishers include the National Observer, the Narwhal, Le Devoir, the Tyee and the publisher of Le Soleil.

Facebook, which is in the process of renaming itself Meta, has not revealed the financial terms of the deals it signed with these publishers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Australian counterpart agreed in March to continue “co-ordinating efforts” to ensure web giants’ revenues are shared more fairly with creators and media after Facebook struck a payment deal with the Australian government.

Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with subsidiaries of the Globe and Mail and Montreal’s La Presse.

Facebook funds a fellowship that supports journalism positions at The Canadian Press.