Canadians continue to turn to traditional platforms for daily news despite online news sites and social media, according to a new poll. Belinda Alzner explains which platform was most popular across the board and which one was perhaps surprisingly only used by 10 per cent of respondents.

Canadians continue to most frequently turn to traditional platforms for their daily news despite the emergence of new online methods of consuming news, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Data from the poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of The Canadian Journalism Foundation, also shows that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians consider themselves to highly-engaged news consumers who check on the news frequently via a number of different sources.

The “hyper newsies” – the most engaged audiences – passionately follow the news on every platform. And most of them still sit down to watch the supperhour or late-night TV news, while also following community newspapers and magazines, 24-hour television news stations, CBC Radio and newspaper websites. The 70 per cent of this group that consult CBC Radio regularly is nearly 30 percentage points above the average of 43 per cent of respondents who say they regularly get news via that source.

Television newscasts were the most popular platform for everyone sampled, including those who follow the news the least.  Social media sites such as Facebook were also more popular choices for this group compared to more engaged news consumers.


Despite its growth and the discussion that surrounds its role in the future of journalism (a few of many examples can be found here, here and here), the poll data suggests that only one in 10 Canadians regularly consult Twitter for news.  It is unclear from the poll results what respondents were asked about in regards to Twitter though, given the multitude of roles that Twitter can play in the news cycle, from gathering sources, to breaking news to disseminating news story links.

Where we get our news depends on our age; there are sharp generational differences in this poll data. For instance, Those older than 55 were more likely than those 35-54 and 18-34 to regularly get their daily news via a television newscast, though it was the most popular platform across all age groups. Not surprisingly, young adults are more likely to regularly get news on social media – 53 per cent said they regularly got news via Facebook, and 20 per cent said via Twitter, versus 22 per cent and 4 per cent in the over 55 group, respectively.

The poll was conducted among 1,006 Canadians online on Oct. 15 and 16 and is accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points, according to Ipsos’ credibility interval.

The CJF release, with the full data, can be found here