How do new Canadians get their news?

Research from MTM shows that newcomers trust Canadian outlets as much, if not more, than international ones.

Newcomers to Canada are just as heavy consumers of news as the rest of Canadians, according to a Media Technology Monitor report looking at the news consumption habits of new Canadians.

A strong majority of newcomers to Canada take in news content on any platform. Two in three say they have consumed news via TV, online, radio or newspapers in the previous month, either from a Canadian news provider or a foreign news source.

News consumption is highest amongst those from Europe (85%), Oceania (82%) and the Americas (84%). Asian newcomers show less interest in news in general (57%), although those from Southeast Asia – notably India – show a much higher interest.

Newcomers to Canada are a younger group than the Canadian-born population, so it’s no surprise that social media is the main source of news for more than two-fifths of newcomers – 42%, versus 22% for those born in Canada. Facebook was the most mentioned source, followed by Twitter. They also use more online news sites – 27% versus 23% – and that usage increases with affluence. At the same time, use of social media declines once they reach the $150K-plus income category. Other than age-based habits, social and online channels also provide more ability to get news from around the world, including their country of origin.

Newcomers are slightly less likely to be using the traditional forms of media such as TV (21%, versus 23% of those born in Canada) or radio (6%, versus 10%) as their main source for news than those born in Canada.

Three in five newcomers watch online news videos, including full news programs, available on news websites, YouTube or videos embedded in news articles, though habits vary depending on which region they are from. Around four in five newcomers from Northern Europe say they watch online news video content, similar to those from Southeast Asia (78%) and the Caribbean (77%).

In terms of where they are getting their news, newcomers put a lot of trust in Canadian news sources, rating them as highly as do Canadian-born respondents. When asked to rate their trust on a five-point scale, nearly a quarter gave Canadian outlets the highest rating, with 60% putting it in their top two.

Newcomers also put similar trust in Canadian news sources as they do international news sources, like CNN and the BBC, though that trust is generally higher than it is for sources from their home countries, a trend that is particularly notable among newcomers from the Philippines, Mexico and the United States.

Canadian media also got high ratings on representing a diversity of opinions, with 58% of newcomers agreeing that the news and information provided by Canadian outlets reflect a variety of opinions, compared to 52% for the news media from their countries of origin.