Canadian data from the Digital News Report 2020, collected before the major disruptions caused by COVID-19 in the Western world, shows less trust towards the news media and a bigger concern about the truthfulness of online news contents.
Most news consumers in the country think that journalists should prominently report politicians’ statements even if they could be proven false. However, a similar proportion feels that technology platforms such as Facebook or Google have a responsibility to block potentially inaccurate advertisements by politicians. False and misleading information from the domestic politicians elicit the most concern online for a larger number of Canadians, more than that from foreign governments or the news media themselves.
The Digital News Report is a yearly international online survey about the practices and perceptions of news consumers led by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and conducted in 40 countries in 2020. The Canadian component of the survey is supervised by the Center d’études on the media (CEM). Data was collected from January 16 to February 25, 2020.
Amongst other topics, Canadians’ preference for non-partisan news, their favored ways of accessing news, podcast consumption and local news sources.
The international report is available here. Parts of the survey were repeated in six countries (but not Canada) in April to better understand the effects of the global crisis on news attitudes and habits.
The results for Canada is available here.