Poll: Canada prefers traditional news sources


TORONTO -- Canada's IT bosses said Wednesday that the imminent death of traditional media has been greatly exaggerated.

The Information Technology Association of Canada released a poll that reveals that, despite online media gaining popularity here, most Canadians still depend on newspapers, radio and TV to get their general and breaking news.

About 65% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet services. Even so, ITAC said 95% of Canadian polled said they get their general news through traditional media, and 82% turn to newspapers, radio and TV for breaking news.

"It's clear that Canadians are traditionalists, and overwhelmingly turn to television, newspapers, and radio for trusted news," ITAC president Bernard Courtois said.

He added that Internet news outlets have only begun "to creep" into the media mix, and only after they mostly aggregate news from traditional news sources for content.

The ITAC poll found that only 42% of respondents access some form of online media for general news, while 21% of those polled said they turn to online sources for breaking news.

ITAC said credibility remains a key stumbling block for online news sources.

"As was the case when broadcast media came along to challenge print, any new news media is viewed with skepticism, and the Internet is no different," Courtois said.

"Once the industry begins to establish trusted checks and balances, and online news media becomes mainstream, this medium will become a more credible news source for the Canadian public," he added.

The ITAC poll will bring relief to Canadian newspapers, radio and TV stations as the online space continues to be dominated for foreign, mostly American, content.

In addition, young Canadians especially are early adopters of the 24/7 social networking world on the Internet and mobile phones.