Measures in the federal budget to support journalism in underserved communities are a disappointment, some industry representatives say.

The funds, which will be handed out by one or more independent, non-governmental organizations, are far less than some had proposed. News Media Canada had asked the government to provide $350-million to a revamped Canadian Periodical Fund and to open up eligibility for that fund to more publications.

Approximately 16,500 jobs in the media sector have been eliminated since 2008, according to the Canadian Media Guild. Nearly half of those are in print media; 36 percent are in broadcasting and 17 percent are in digital and other forms of media.

The budget's second measure for the media industry was greeted with more optimism: The government announced that it would explore the idea of granting charitable status to news outlets, which would allow them to fund their journalism through tax-deductible donations.

"To me, it's pretty clear that there would be individuals, there would be foundations, who potentially would say, 'We like that,'" said Phillip Crawley, publisher of The Globe and Mail. "The industry at large, as we all look around and see what's happening in other parts of the world, that's one of the examples where we say, why can't that happen in Canada?"

Charitable status could also open up the possibility for funding individual staff positions within existing newsrooms.

Read the full article about the budget media provisions by Susan Krasinsky Robertson at The Globe and Mail.