Who bears the responsibility for fake news?

Media Technology Monitor finds Canadians still trust traditional news sources but lay repsonsibility for fake news at the hands of others.

Canadians are concerned about “fake news” and its consequences and while many are inclined to verify the accuracy of online content, the general consensus is that regulatory bodies should be doing more to monitor untrustworthy news sources.

More than 33% of respondents from a Media Technology Monitor survey that contacted more than 8,000 Canadians said regulatory bodies like the CRTC should bare the responsibility of overseeing the issue of fake news. One-fifth said they felt the responsibility fell to them personally, or to journalists.

Traditional news sources like CBC, The Globe and Mail, La Presse and the U.S.-based CNN still topped the list of 73% of Canadians’ most trusted outlets. Television and online news sources were the most popular methods of accessing news; at least 70% of Canadians 18-plus turn to either while just 16% have a subscription to either a digital or hard copy of a newspaper. Among those aged 12 to 17 years old, 47% consume news content, primarily online.

However, just 37% of those surveyed said they read anywhere from one to three news articles per day. Two in 10 Canadians read no articles all the way through in a typical day, with many skimming only the headlines.

Still, 88% of Canadians online conveyed concern about the proliferation of fake news. More than 58% expressed a “high” level of concern about the consequences of fake news. Concern ranked higher among Anglophones (60%) when compared to Francophones (54%).

More than half of Canadians reported being greatly concerned about fake news as it pertains to the 2019 federal election. One in 10 said they weren’t concerned at all.