Are Canadians entering a state of news fatigue?

Mindshare's Sarah Thompson on why the agency is seeing a quest for good news among advertisers.

The unrelenting tsunami of coronavirus-related news is driving Canadians to look for some good news for a change. The search for “good news” and variations of the term has been steadily rising on Google this month with most of searches coming from Prince Edward Island, followed by British Columbia.

That’s according to Sarah Thompson, CSO of Mindshare Canada. Even as newspapers like The Globe and Mail see record digital readership and specialty news services like CP24 and CBC News Network grow their base, Thompson says that it’s most likely that the Canadian public cannot sustain this onslaught of constant COVID-19 news and press conferences.

She says the agency is now seeing a quest for “good news” among advertisers and that publishers should start making this part of their first page news now.

“TV will continue to be the most trusted medium and newspapers will continue as the trend of people wanting the physical paper will continue. We suspect we won’t see Canadians tuning into every press conference and every news broadcast. We are already consuming escapism content in streaming and videos – but to continue to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle is going to start to wane. We are going to see a balance set in as people want more balance in the stories they are consuming.”

Thompson says Mindshare’s third wave of COVID-19 research (read MiC‘s coverage on the second wave here) shows that TV news programs are still the number one source of information, but is staying flat. And for stations that are 100% dedicated to news, Thompson is noticing a new trend.

“What is very interesting to see is that trust in TV news stations and programs is starting to dip. Our assumption is that this is a sign of fatigue. Instead, we are trusting government websites more and more.”

She says the rest of the research is being pulled together right now and will be released in a webinar on April 7.