When did you last sit and read a newspaper? (Wiki Commons)

Don’t stop the presses: Report finds Canadian newspaper readership at all-time high

88% of Canadians read newspapers every week, highest since first Newspapers 24/7 Report in 2012

In the midst of continued discussion and debate about the state of Canadian media, the seventh annual Newspapers 24/7 Report has found that readership of Canadian newspapers is at an all-time high.

According to the survey, 88 per cent of Canadians read a newspaper, either in print or online, at least once a week — a three-per-cent increase from the inaugural study conducted in 2012.

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“Given heightened levels of global mistrust, we’re seeing a clear and continued affinity for the reliable reporting that newspapers provide,” said News Media Canada chair Bob Cox. “Newspapers continue to be the go-to source for credible, trusted and independent news, in both print and digital formats.”

The report is an annual benchmark of Canadian newspaper readership conducted by Totum Research on behalf of News Media Canada, an association of the Canadian news media industry.

Unsurprisingly, digital newspaper readership continues to increase year over year. The 2019 report found that 83 per cent of newspaper readers are accessing at least some of their newspaper content online.

However, most of these readers are using that digital content to supplement – not replace – readership of a print edition. In total, 52 per cent of newspaper readers access newspaper content from both print and online sources.

“This year’s research clearly demonstrates that both print and digital newspaper sources play a unique and distinct role in the lives of Canadians,” said Totum Research president Claude Heimann. “For example, it’s clear that people like to start their day with the comprehensive and in-depth reporting of a print newspaper, and then stay up-to-date on breaking news on digital as the day progresses.”

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The report said most print reading happens early in the day, while digital reading is more consistent from morning to night.

Finally, the research specifically looked at the newspaper reading habits of younger Canadians. And while millennials have been blamed for the death of everything from mayonnaise to department stores, newspapers appear to have avoided that curse: 88 per cent of millennials read them weekly, accessing the content primarily through their mobile phones.

The Newspapers 24/7 study was conducted in February 2019, through an online survey of 800 Canadians. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.5 per cent at the 95-per-cent confidence level.

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