Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Most Canadians oppose government funding for newsrooms, poll shows

Canadians do not support broad government funding for news organizations but most remain OK with funding the CBC; divisions on the news industry run deep along political lines, Angus Reid Institute found.
News, newspaper world
Canadians are more likely to oppose (47 per cent) than support (36 per cent) completely defunding CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, according to a new survey.

Most Canadians are opposed to government funding and intervention in the news industry, saying it compromises journalistic integrity, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll published Thursday.

Likewise, most Canadians are concerned about consolidation of news outlets, saying it should be discouraged in order to maintain competition.

About six in 10 Canadians said the government should not fund newsrooms, with 83 per cent of Conservative voters saying so, as opposed to 48 per cent of Liberal voters and 38 per cent of New Democratic Party voters.

The pollster noted the Liberal federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $600 million in financial assistance for print magazines, non-daily newspapers and digital periodicals, plus tax credits on wages paid to newsroom employees and digital news subscriptions.

However, Canadians do support the notion that “Big Tech” should compensate Canadian organizations, as proposed in the controversial Bill C-18, which will tax social media outlets, such as Facebook and Google, for news links.

Although broad government funding is opposed by most, Canadians are more likely to oppose (47 per cent) than support (36 per cent) completely defunding CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, said Angus Reid.

“There is a sharp political division on this matter. Approaching three-quarters (72%) of past CPC voters believe the government should defund the CBC. Most of those who voted Liberal (68%) and NDP (69%) in 2021 are opposed,” the pollster noted.

Likewise, 57 per cent are opposed to consolidation, as most recently seen with the now rejected proposal of Torstar and Postmedia merger.

The poll also showed Canadians are consuming less news in print and on TV than they were in 2016. The internet accounts as a news source for 89 per cent of people, as opposed to 77 per cent seven years ago. TV consumption accounts for 52 per cent, down from 71 per cent over the same period. Meanwhile, print publications have seen a drop from 42 per cent to 19 per cent.

[email protected]