Source: X

Independent media outlets are capturing an increasing share of the Canadian news landscape while the legacy media falters as the primary news source for Canadians.

Research by the Media Ecosystem Observatory found that independent media outlets made up three of the top ten Canadian news sources with the highest engagement, with some even outranking the CBC.

A May 2024 situation report published in collaboration with MEO and the Canadian Digital Media Research Network found that The Post Millennial, and Rebel News ranked among the top five news outlets with the most engagement in Canada. Meanwhile, the complete data set showed that True North ranked seventh when it came to news engagement.

When added together, independent sources accounted for nearly one-fifth of the market share for engagement.

While Bell Media-owned CTV News was the most popular news outlet on social media, garnering 25.1% of all engagement in May, the CBC struggled in third place.

According to MEO director Aengus Bridgman, the CBC and Radio-Canada remained the most trusted news outlets for Canadians according to a 2023 study.

In an email to True North, Bridgman noted that there was high monthly variation in engagement each outlet receives, depending heavily on the news cycle and topics of conversation. Additionally, the engagement with individual journalists and shows for each outlet was not accounted for by the study.

The top 10 most engaged with news outlets in May were, in order, CTV, Global News, CBC, the Post Millennial, Rebel News, Journal de Montréal, True North, BlogTO, Toronto Sun, and LaPresse. 

Bridgman also provided True North with data from April which showed that True North ranked sixth out of ten news outlets, just behind Global News with 3.9% of the total engagement share that month.

The study also found Conservative politicians tend to perform better on measures of engagement with the Canadian public on social media.

Among the federal party leaders, Pierre Poilievre by far receives the largest amount of engagement on social media, receiving 67.9% of the attention. By contrast, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau only managed to grab 22.4% of total engagement, with Jagmeet Singh at 9.4%.

Engagement with elected politicians tells a similar story, as Conservatives receive 41.9% of total engagement, NDP politicians receive 39.7%, and Liberals receive 15.8%.

Not only do Poilievre and Conservative politicians receive more attention online than their political opponents, but the report also found that Poilievre is closer to the centre of conversation than Trudeau and Singh, as well as Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.