Recently released data from pollster Angus Reid shows that most Canadians oppose the funding of newsrooms, citing concern over comprised journalistic independence.
The polling showed that 59% of Canadians responded that the government should not fund newsrooms; 83% of those opposed were conversative voters, 48% were liberal and 38% were NDP.
Despite the threat to journalistic independence, 47% of respondents disagreed that the federal government should completely defund the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s state broadcaster.
Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition party, Pierre Poilievre, has previously had resounding support when he has called for defunding the CBC.
The CBC receives nearly $1.5 billion dollars annually – by the Justin Trudeau Liberals through tax breaks and subsidies – for reports that are often riddled with deceptive lies and factual errors.
Most recently (and most notably) the CBC published a report accusing Alberta Premier Danielle Smith of politically meddling in the provincial justice system over COVID-19 infractions before the courts.
After an investigation by Alberta’s ethics commissioner found that there was never any evidence of direct communication, the damage to Smith’s campaign during an ongoing election was already done.
“Confronted with the Commissioner's report, our sources have insisted that Crown prosecutors felt political pressure regarding the Coutts cases, but they are not able to confirm that the emails they originally described were sent directly from the premier's office to the Crown,” an editors note issued five months later (a week after the election) reads.
Facing increased scrutiny throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for being government cheerleaders and public health fear mongers, the CBC dedicated an entire webpage to corrections and clarifications of their reports beginning in January 2021.
Various former mainstream media reporters have come forward to denounce censorship amid the CBC’s conduct as a government messenger, instead of an editorially independent source of news. Journalist Rodney Palmer repeatedly referred to the CBC as engaging in propaganda, not newsgathering.
As a result of failing journalistic integrity, younger Canadians are disavowing traditional news watching for more independent sources.
Less than 30% of Canadians under the age of 34 get their news from the television, whereas 74% of Canadians over the age of 54 still tune into their TV daily for news updates, found the poll.