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The use of media to follow news and current affairs, 2003 to 2013

Released: 2016-02-15

From 2003 to 2013, the proportion of Canadians who said they followed the news and current affairs every day fell from 68% to 60%.

At the same time, the proportion of Canadians who said they rarely or never followed the news and current affairs almost doubled to 13% in 2013, compared with 7% in 2003.

This trend was more prevalent among young people. The proportion of young people aged 15 to 34 who said they rarely or never followed the news and current affairs almost doubled from 11% in 2003 to 21% in 2013. By comparison, for Canadians aged 55 and older, this proportion rose from 4% to 6%.

In terms of geography, every region saw a decrease in the frequency with which Canadians followed the news and current affairs. However, there were discrepancies from region to region.

Quebec (63%) recorded the highest proportion of people who said they followed the news and current affairs every day, while Alberta (53%) and Manitoba (55%) had the lowest proportions.

Types of media used to follow the news and current affairs

In 2013, as in 2003, television was the most common medium used by individuals who followed the news and current affairs several times a month or more. However, the proportion of those who said they followed the news and current affairs on television declined from 90% in 2003 to 78% in 2013.

The proportion of Canadians who read newspapers was also down. In 2003, 69% of people who followed the news and current affairs at least several times per month did so by reading newspapers. In 2013, this proportion stood at 51%.

Conversely, use of the Internet to follow the news and current affairs grew from 30% in 2003 to 59% in 2013.

Young people and people with a high level of education were more likely to use the Internet to follow the news and current affairs, while older people and people with a lower level of education tended to watch television.

Regionally, Quebec (82%) had the highest proportion of people who watched television to follow the news and current affairs. By comparison, the lowest proportions were in Alberta (69%) and British Columbia (70%).

Products

The article "The use of media to follow news and current affairs," which is part of the publication Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey (Catalogue number89-652-X), is now available under the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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