News media organizations are under fire. Economic realities, social media impacts, and the politicization of news and facts, particularly in the U.S. has placed traditional journalism at a crossroads of sorts. Recently released information from the Pew Research Center indicates that most Canadians think news organizations do a good job — but it is not a universally held view.

On all four aspects Canadians think news organizations perform at least as somewhat well. The highest is for reporting on the most important news events (82% at least somewhat). The global mean is 59% and in the U.S. it is 61%.

The area where Canadians are the least positive is on reporting different positions on political issues fairly. Here only 16% take the very well position (73% at least somewhat) and one in four (24%) say not too well or not well at all. Canada is still above the global mean (52%) and the United States (47%).

Given the proximity to the U.S. and the high attention to U.S. news, Canadians may think more highly about their own media because they do not see it being attacked the way they see the U.S. media under fire. The lack of as much clearly partisan outlets in Canada may also contribute. Of course, the comparison globally and with what Americans think of their own media, covers over the fact that almost one in four does not think news organizations perform well on covering political issues fairly.

Consider that one in four Canadians may be open to alternative sources they perceive as more fair and could also be open to partisan attacks on the current media.

Canadians are positive about news organizations in Canada


Source: Pew Research Center (Canada Survey conducted by telephone (Feb. 16 – Mar. 3, 2017), n=1022). The global report is available here. The Pew Research Center bears no responsibility for the analyses or interpretations of the data presented here.