CBC's online engagement dwindles as independent media like Rebel News gain traction

Despite bailouts from the Trudeau Liberals and partnerships with Big Tech companies, mainstream media outlets like CBC are declining.

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New research from the Canadian Digital Media Research Network (CDMRN) shows CBC viewership is being replaced with conservative voices.

It found engagement with the Canadian state broadcaster known as the CBC is fading online, as first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.

The May 2024 Situation Report on the Canadian Information Ecosystem found that “fewer than 1 in 3 Canadians” trust “big tech companies like Meta and Google or politicians.” It found “journalists and media organizations are more trusted, but close to half of Canadians still have little to no trust in them at all.”

According to the government of Canada-funded media research network, “misinformation-producing websites receive significant attention,” although misinformation is not defined, and examples are not listed.

The “Ecosystem Snapshot” showed that conservatives received significantly more engagement online than the Liberals – with Premier of Alberta Danielle Smith outpacing both leader of the NDP Jagmeet Singh and Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau.

The Canadian Information Ecosystem determined that “inequality” is high — they say that the “conversation is highly skewed to a small number of highly influential accounts.”

It found that while toxicity scores were very low, Canadians avoid engaging in political discussions online and some avoid it all altogether.

Interestingly, it found the Conservatives are the least insular party — that is, they’re the least likely to be polarizing and isolating. In contrast, NDP are most likely to be insular.

The most trusted actors in the online information landscape are journalists, followed by the media. The least trusted are elected officials, followed by Big Tech, with 45.9% of Canadians being concerned about misinformation, although no misinformation is cited.

They list the top five Canadian news outlets that share nearly 65% of all online engagement — CTV has the highest with 25% engagement, followed by Global News with 12%, CBC with 11%, Post Millennial with 10% and Rebel News at almost 7% engagement.

Chinese-born social media app TikTok had the most usage at nearly 46%, followed by Twitter (now known as X) at almost 30%, YouTube at 12.5%, Facebook trailing behind at 10.5% and Instagram last.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre dominates online engagement for all federal party leaders with nearly 70% of total engagement, Trudeau a measly 22% followed by Singh at 9%. Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party are barely on the map.

Despite Google being listed as one of the platforms that Canadians trust the least, they are partnering with dwindling-in-popularity mainstream news organizations to prop each other up.

This is even though the CBC is budgeted to receive a record $1.38 billion in taxpayer bailout funding to stay afloat this year alone. And yet, even with taxpayer bailouts and foreign interference money from China to amplify disinformation, CBC still can’t stay relevant.

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