Social Networks Transforming How Canadians Get the News

News is increasingly becoming a shared social experience online for Canadians thanks to new digital platforms and services, according to a recent poll by the Canadian Media Research Consortium. An online survey of a representative national sample of 1,682 adults conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion found that more than two-thirds of Canadians who visit social networking sites use them to keep up with the news. This amounts to more than 10 million Canadians.

The survey shows how social networking sites are becoming a personalized news stream for Canadians of all ages, with news selected and filtered by family, friends and acquaintances. The idea of news as a social experience is important for Canadians. Close to two-thirds (64 per cent) say they value being able to easily share content with others. For young Canadians, the figure rises to 83%.

While we did not ask about the type of news content they shared, it is clear that many people are relying on their online social network to alert them to news of interest. A significant portion of the audience is expecting the news to come to them, filtered by friends rather than only by trained professionals.

The dissemination of news through social interaction has always affected the spread of news. New networked media technologies are extending the ability of news consumers to both create and receive personalized social news streams, undermining existing mass media business models based on delivering large audiences to advertisers.

Read the full report (PDF)

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