2024 Digital News Report provides new insights into Canadian media following Meta news ban

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at Oxford University released its annual examination into the state of Canadian news media earlier this week. The Canadian chapter of the report was produced by Colette Brin, from the University of Laval.

This year’s Digital News Report marked the first study since Meta blocked news media contents in Canada on some of its platforms, television remains the primary source used for news by the largest share in the country (38%, -2 percentage points (pp) vs. 2023), while use of news websites or apps is on the rise (30%, +3 pp). Social media is the third most cited source (24%, -1 pp).

From one year to the next, Facebook is used less and less as a source of news, a trend that began long before Meta’s controversial decision: one in four (25%) respondents in Canada say they used it for news in the week preceding the survey, compared with 29% in 2023 and 46% in 2016. Conversely, Canadians (13%, +3 pp compared to 2023), especially those aged between 18 and 34 (26%, +6 pp), are more and more inclined to use Instagram for news.

The use of artificial intelligence in news production raises some concerns. The majority of respondents in the country (52%) are not comfortable with the production of news designed primarily through AI (18% say they are comfortable). However, when journalists use it as an aid to produce news, 39% of Canadians are comfortable with the idea, and 27% express discomfort.

As is the case every year, the survey looks at the evolution of trust and interest in news or payment for online news. Other issues such as news fatigue or misinformation are also addressed this year.

A full copy of the survey and results can be downloaded here.