Canadians are overwhelmingly in support of financial subsidies for news outlets in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Nanos study published Monday.
The study, commissioned by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, found that nearly two in every three Canadians agree or somewhat agree that media bankruptcies should be treated as an emergency by the federal government.
“Our democracy and our future as an independent country are at stake. A country that can’t talk to itself ceases to be. If we lose our media, we lose our country,” said Friends executive director Daniel Bernhard.
The survey found that more than two-thirds of Canadians support or somewhat support the government sending aid to failing news providers.
With 250 Canadian newspapers having closed in the last 10 years, the study also found that almost 60 per cent of Canadians think having an independent CBC is critical.
In regards to information about the pandemic, 80 per cent of people said traditional media outlets — such as newspapers (including their online versions), private broadcasters and radio stations and CBC — are the most trusted sources of information.
CBC is the most trusted pandemic news source by Canadians, at 41 per cent, private broadcasters were second at 20 per cent, newspapers and their online products are trusted by 19 per cent of Canadians. Facebook, meanwhile, was trusted by five per cent of those surveyed.