New Data Reveals Nearly Half of Canadians Worried About Impacts of Bill C-18Category
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Our research suggests 70% of Canadians who are worried about the impact of the Bill plan to change how they access their news in response to Bill C-18

It’s been more than three months since the enactment of Bill C-18. In the months since, Canadians have undergone a shift in how they go about accessing news and information. Our team conducted a study at the end of August looking forther into this, and our suspicions have been confirmed, Canadians are changing their habits.

For those that are still getting caught up with what Bill C-18 is, let us break it down for you. Bill C-18 was originally introduced with the aim of compensating Canadian news organizations for the vital information they provide to the public. However, major technology giants like Google and Meta (the parent company behind Facebook and Instagram) chose instead to block Canadian news content on their platforms. This was an unintended consequence of the Bill. As we have all seen through our Instagram accounts, in the months following the enactment of Bill C-18, our access to content has shifted significantly.

In the research we conducted between August 28-30, this year, among a representative sample of 1,505 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, we learned the following:

  • Half (51%) are worried about how Bill C-18 will impact how they stay informed

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Gen Zs and Millenials (18-34 age group) expressed concern about access to news

  • Women seem slightly more worried (55%) than men (45%)

Our Managing Parter Katie Stevens shared these thoughts:

“There is no question that Bill C-18 will have an unintended impact on media consumption. We anticipate consumer loyalty surrounding chosen or preferred outlets will intensify,” noted Katie. She goes on to explain, “The impact of the Bill also underscores the importance of aligning media relations efforts to their intended audiences, whether it’s specific media outlets or otherwise, and highlights the value of an integrated communications strategy.“

Other interesting findings are that among those who are concerned, 70% plan to change how they get their news, noting they plan to get more news from sources not impacted by the Bill (42%) including subscribing to newsletters, downloading news publication applications, visiting news websites directly, picking up a physical paper media, watching the news, or listening to the radio.

In terms of where Canadians currently turn to for news consumption, the top sources of information are news websites (56%), social media (52%), and TV (47%). And within these categories, there are significant age differences: almost two-thirds (64%) of those 18-34 get news from social media, whereas only 40% of those 55 and older do. Conversely, only 28% of the 18-34 cohort get news from TV, whereas 65% of those 55+ do. This means that delivering digital content is paramount if those ages 18-34 are going to stay informed, and consumers must be directed to newsletters, news websites, and apps.

If you’re interesting in learning more, join our panel discussion at Talk Shop’s Vancouver office on Septemebr 19th – event details HERE!