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The need to keep Canadians informed — and to fight misinformation

The media landscape is more fragmented than ever, and that’s pulling money out of local (Canadian) media. At the same time, as people increasingly move to digital as a news source, misinformation has become more prevalent, making the role of local media even more important. These 2 competing issues were the focus of the CMDC’s Canadian Media Manifesto Summit on April 27.

Recognizing the quality of what we read online and see on TV helps explain the urgency of the Canadian Media Manifesto. Led by the CMDC, the manifesto is a call for leaders across the media and marketing community to pledge their awareness of the importance of local media and commit to championing its importance.

Failure to support Canadian media has obvious — and dire — consequences.  As the CMDC shared during the event, 53 media outlets have closed and more than 3,000 media jobs have been lost since the pandemic began in 2020.

The challenges facing local news are also coming at a time when the threat of misinformation is arguably greater than ever before. According to data from NewsGuard, more than 35% of news sites fall into the red or “untrustworthy” status, while US$2.6 billion a year in programmatic advertising winds up on misinformation sites, further fuelling the problem. Greater attention is needed to invest in credible journalistic sources.


The power and credibility of television as a news medium

Despite the proliferation dubious news sites and stories, it’s clear that Canadians have a hunger for quality local news coverage. Corus EVP & CRO Greg McLelland shared that TV broadcast news reaches 71% of Canadians weekly, is highly trusted, and provides a great place for brands to grow – yet broadcast news notoriously under-indexes on advertising support relative to time spent.

“Coming back stronger than ever from the pandemic means making meaningful commitments in fostering responsible media, which is so important,” he said. “It gives our client agencies and marketers the opportunity to connect with diverse Canadian audiences in a way that delivers true value.”


Proof that news is brand-safe and drives marketing ROI

As several speakers during the event pointed out, there has historically been a fear among some marketers that news content isn’t “brand safe.” Yet a study conducted by MAGNA in partnership with Disney debunked that notion.

After extensive testing across many different ad formats, news genres and brand verticals, the research found ads work just as well as in non-news content. In fact, ads in news were seen as having more value and were more trustworthy than when they appeared in non-news content.

For more a more detailed overview of the CMDC summit, read our summary, and for an overview of the value of Canadian news – both for consumers and advertisers – be sure to download our News fast facts report.

download news deck          download CMDC summary