Canadians still prefer the printed version of newspapers, but more of them are increasingly turning towards online to get their news fix. The latest numbers released by NADbank, an organization that measures newspaper readership for 83 newspapers in Canada, shows that almost 80 per cent of Canadians read a daily newspaper every week

*All screenshots fromNADbank website

By Tamara Baluja

Canadians still prefer the printed version of newspapers, but more of them are increasingly turning towards online to get their news fix.

The latest numbers released by NADbank, an organization that measures newspaper readership for 83 newspapers in Canada, shows that almost 80 per cent of Canadians read a daily newspaper every week, with over 14 million in print, and nearly 7 million on a digital  platform. That translates into 51 per cent of Canadians interact with newspaper content daily.

Over the past two studies, NADbank results have also has shown that for those reading newspapers online, mobile-only access to newspapers has grown to 18 per cent, while readers using both personal computers and mobile devices increased to 25 per cent.

 “It is clear that their efforts have paid off,” said the report of newspaper’s increasing push towards digital platforms.

While online readership is increasing, publishers are still trying to figure out how to turn around advertising revenues online. Many outlets have cut back their Sunday editions, erected paywalls or turned towards branded content.  

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News, including local, politics and world coverage, is the top reason for reading a daily newspaper. Advertisement-heavy sections like automotive generally pull in the lowest amount of readers.

Ottawa-Gatineau had the highest number of adults reading a print edition on an average weekday at 47 per cent and accessing a digital edition at 58 per cent.

While the free dailies are getting traction, paid dailies continue to have more weekly readers than free dailies. Heavy newspaper readers are more likely than less frequent consumer to have a higher income and a higher education degree. 

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.