Canadians Trust Their Media More Than People In Most Countries: Pew Center Study

It might be because we trust our federal government more.

Jessica Chin

Canadians are generally happy with their news media, and that could be thanks to their trust in the federal government and faith in the country's economic performance.

A Pew Research Center study into global attitudes on media showed out of 38 countries worldwide, Canadians placed in the top 10 in all measures of media satisfaction.

A large majority of Canadians believe that news media is doing well or somewhat well at reporting the news accurately (78 per cent), political issues fairly (73 per cent), news about government leaders and officials (79 per cent), and the most important news events (82 per cent).

Scored higher than American media

Pew senior researcher Laura Silver, who co-authored the study, said in countries with high levels of media satisfaction, there's a high correlation in "trust in the national government to do what's right, and a sense that the economy is performing well."

In that vein, Silver told HuffPost Canada that Canadians generally score their news organizations higher than Americans.

"In Canada, 67 per cent of people trust the national government to do what's right, in comparison, only 51 per cent of Americans say the same thing," she said.

She noted that there is some partisan division in both countries.

"People who support the governing party tend to think that the media is doing a better job than those who don't support the governing party."

The study's results align with similar reports on media satisfaction in Canada. 2016 Reuters/YouGov poll showed 55 per cent of Canadians agreed with the statement "you can trust news most of the time," compared to 33 per cent of Americans who said the same.

That said, trust in government may be on the decline. A February 2017 Edelman poll showed only 43 per cent of Canadians trust their government, down from 53 per cent the year earlier.

The Pew Research Center study was based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of D3 Systems Inc., ORB International, Princeton Survey Research Associates International, Kantar Public UK and Voices! Research & Consultancy in 38 countries. The results are based on national samples.

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