Trust matters: Canadians turn to news outlets for information they need to know

The results of a new survey by the Toronto-based public relations firm Kaiser & Partners, Inc. has found that Canadians resoundingly view established news outlets as the best source for reliable news and information when compared to social media platforms.

Overall, the survey shows that 39 per cent of Canadians indicated that they consider some sources of information to be less credible today, compared to pre-pandemic. By far, the outlets taking the biggest hit are crowdsourced news platforms and social media.

Content from social media in general is reported as the least credible (73 per cent of Canadians), followed by information conveyed by others in platforms such as Reddit and Quora (45 per cent). When broken down by age, more than three quarters of Canadians aged 55 and older find social media less trustworthy as a result of the pandemic than those between the ages of 35 and 54 (74 per cent) and those between 18 and 34 (66 per cent).

Some other interesting highlights gathered from the research include:

  • The pandemic drove Canadians back to traditional news sources: 25 per cent of Canadians are watching more broadcast television news than prior to the pandemic
  • Crowd-sourced news on social media and other platforms has taken the biggest hit in credibility: 73 per cent of Canadians say content from social media has become less credible as a result of the pandemic
  • Canadian health agencies have gained trust, especially among older demographics: 59 per cent consider content from public health agencies to be more credible since the pandemic

“Social media platforms have a serious reputation problem and we continue to see drastic measures being taken to try to repair lost trust,” says Janine Allen, president and partner, Kaiser & Partners.

You can read the full findings of the survey here.