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Traditional media preferred information source for Canadians

By Mario Cywinski |

Ten years ago experts were ready to write-off traditional print and broadcast mediums in favour of online media. Now a new study by APEX PR has found that Canadians still prefer traditional media sources.

According to the study, which was conducted by Leger Marketing, the top five most credible information sources are: radio (67%), television (66%), national (66%) and regional (62%) newspapers and business magazines (52%).

"Contrary to popular doom and gloom scenarios that speak about the impending demise of newspaper and radio, Canadians were clear that these traditional media are in fact the most trusted and credible sources," said Dave Scholz, vice president of Leger Marketing.

"That said, a few years ago, podcasts and blogs would not have even been on the radar, so it is interesting to see that they have received as much attention and garnered as much credibility as they have, in such a short period of time," said Scholz.

The study found differences based on age and gender.

Younger Canadians are the most likely to trust news websites as their source of information, according to a study of 1,517 adults across Canada.

In turn, women are more likely than men to trust national lifestyle magazines as a trusted source of information (34% to 25%), the study found.

While not as high in the credibility rating as traditional news media, new media is on the rise. Nearly, one in three Canadians are using some sort of social networking site, and one in five are visiting blogs. As a result, 20 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds believe a blog is a trustworthy source of information. While only 12 per cent of 25 to 34 year old and 2 per cent of 65 plus, trust social networking sites.

Forty per cent of Canadians aged 18-24 and 21 per cent of respondents over 65 trust news websites, according to the study by APEX PR.

However, Canadians as a whole are far less likely to trust information on a blog or podcast than traditional media, at 10 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

"It's no secret that there are more information options than ever before, but what we've learned with this study is how and why consumers are making certain choices," said Pat McNamara, president of APEX Public Relations Inc. "It's clear that if we want to communicate with the public we need to understand where they get their information and how they are making decisions. We can't abandon traditional media, but we also need to understand that it's becoming increasingly vital to talk to audiences through multiple channels."

The study broke down some of its findings into provincial statistics. Here are the highlights:**

  • 77% of British Columbians view radio news or programs as a credible source (national average is 67%)
  • 12% of British Columbians & Albertans view blogs as credible (national average is 10%)
  • 53% of Albertans and 71% of Quebecers view regional newspapers as credible (national average is 62%)
  • 52% of Manitoba /Saskatchewan and 51% of Atlantic Canadians respondents say local community newspapers are credible (national average is 46%)
  • 36% of Ontarians say news websites are a credible source (national average is 32%)
  • 76% of Quebecers view television news or programs as a credible source (national average is 66%)
  • 62% of Quebecers view national business magazines as a credible source (national average is 52%)

SOURCE: Study by APEX PR, conducted by Leger Marketing

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