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Canadians agree that government-funded media erodes trust

By  Isaac Lamoureux, True North Wire

Most Canadians don’t support government funding for media and additional subsidies are failing to restore trust in the industry.

A new poll, conducted by Public Square Research, aimed to gauge the public’s trust in different types of Canadian news media and views on government subsidization of the industry.

It found that 70% of Canadians were not supportive of government subsidies for the salaries of private news organizations.

Government funding measures currently in place consist of payroll subsidies for journalists employed by “qualified” private news media, a tax credit for news subscriptions, and more.

The federal Online News Act has also forced Google to decide which Canadian media companies will receive a portion of its $100 million media bailout.

The Hub estimates that there is up to a 50% subsidy on journalist salaries up to $85,000 a year.

The research showed that few Canadians were aware of the government funding journalists’ salaries, either directly or indirectly. Only 4% said that they were following funding through the Online News Act closely. Over three-quarters of Canadians were unaware of the legislation.

Liberal and Green Party supporters were the most likely to support government subsidies for private news organizations, while Conservative supporters were the most likely to oppose them.

One in three Canadians said that most news is biased depending on who pays for it. 23% of Canadians said that a lot of news is just government propaganda.

A 2023 study showed that only 40% of Canadians trust legacy media, a steep decline from 55% in 2016.


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