Canadians losing faith in news media

Only half of Canadians believe news organizations get their
facts straight and just a third think news is fair and balanced, according to polling data
released by the Canadian Media Research Consortium
(pdf). The results of
the national survey suggest Canadians are less interested in the news and more
dubious about news media credibility than five years ago, when the CMRC
commissioned a similar poll.

Many who have lost trust in traditional news
media are turning to Internet news sources, as are a surprisingly large number
of young people. While Internet users enjoy non-traditional news sources
and features that foster interactivity, the most valued features of online news
are the links that allow users to find more detailed information.

 “People clearly care about accuracy, about discipline, and
about the commitment to quality, and if traditional players tamper with those
principles, clearly the audience is prepared to make them pay a quick price,”
the report concludes. “The real key to success for traditional media could
involve learning a new language – the language of interactivity, of
conversation, of engagement and involvement of the audience. It may also mean
shedding the notion of reporting without opinions. If traditional media develop
websites that offer more than their print or broadcast product by building
larger packages of content that include user-generated material, then the future
may well be much brighter than many of us thought.”