Amid anxieties that online news is pushing newspapers to extinction, dailies and weeklies remain important sources of news for many Canadians.
Oct. 6-12 being National Newspaper Week, the News Media Canada (NMC) organization has launched its Newspapers Matter Now More Than Ever campaign and is asking Canadians to pledge support for the printed medium.
“Help us remind Canadian businesses, advertisers and governments that newspaper journalism is critically important and essential in protecting the vibrant communities in which we live. Together, let’s take a stand showcasing our support to access truthful, local, regional and national news,” NMC said.
“Newspapers stitch our communities together – questioning what needs questioning, narrating Canada’s history, and serving as the voice of our democracy.”
Gerald Pinchbeck, Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Houston said, “The Houston Today is an essential means of communication for residents and businesses, and ensures residents are able to stay in touch with the affairs of the District and the community.
However, the newspaper world isn’t quite what it was 20 or 30 years ago.
Newspapers have traditionally relied on advertising revenue for its funding but “as readership moves online, Canadian companies have shifted their ad dollars to global conglomerates like Facebook and Google – despite the fact that ads in print or online newspapers are the most trusted of all ad formats.”
The loss of advertising income has pushed many newsrooms to reduce their staff, resources and output.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom.
News readership is high for Canadians. Among readers aged 54-72, who make up 37 per cent of the population weekly news readership stands at 90 per cent and most receive their news through print, according to a May 13, 2019 report from Media In Canada.
Eighty-eight per cent of millennials (age 19-36), who represent 34 per cent of the population read newspapers weekly, and most get it on their phones.
The digital habits of the younger generation aren’t displacing printed news, because the report added that readers are supplementing their digital consumption with physical newspapers.
A third demographic in the study was business decision makers (37 per cent of the population) of whom 93 per cent read newspapers weekly and on all platforms.
In a regional context, the report also found that Western Canadians tend to be stronger readers of print.