Statistics Canada
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News consumption and good citizenship

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Frequent news followers are more likely to be politically engaged than those who are not. Most Canadians follow the news and current affairs at least several times a week, which is an important indicator of a thriving society.

The 2003 General Social Survey found that 89% of Canadians follow news daily or several times a week. Seniors aged 65 and older are more likely to follow news on a frequent basis than young adults aged 19 to 24.

Television is the number one choice—91% of frequent users tune in. It is the top choice for women, Quebecers and those with household income below $60,000 annually.

As a news source, newspapers are chosen by 70% of frequent news followers. Reading a newspaper is most common among men and those with an income above $60,000.

Radio is the third most common news source for frequent news followers—53% listen to it. Seniors listen to the radio at a much higher rate of 83%.

The Internet is especially popular among young people: 42% of them use it, compared with 9% of seniors and 30% of all frequent news followers. Men are more likely to turn to the Internet for news, as are higher-income Canadians. Immigrants are also more likely to turn to it, as coverage is more likely to be deeper and available in their preferred language.

Canadians who follow news via several media are more likely to engage in other political activities in addition to voting—for example, attending a public meeting or volunteering for a political party. Those who choose television as their only news source tend to participate less.