Canadians blame the media for sensationalizing the news in a bid for audiences

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - A majority of Canadians say they prefer domestic and international news over celebrity items and gossip—and they blame the media, not the stars, for sensationalism. Seven in 10 (68%) of respondents believe that the media use stories about celebrities simply to earn ad revenue—essentially providing "click bait" that drives people to media sites. This is a key finding of a new poll done by Ipsos Reid on behalf of The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF).

This poll comes ahead of a CJF J-Talk that explores celebrity gossip in the news, featuring Ben Mulroney, host of CTV's etalk; Alison Eastwood, editor-in-chief of Hello! Canada; Malene Arpe, who writes for the Toronto Star's Stargazing pages; and Jonathan Kay, comment page editor at the National Post. Simon Houpt, senior media writer for The Globe and Mail, will moderate this discussion this Thursday, Nov. 28 at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto. Tickets are available for this event at

In fact, according to the poll, two thirds (63%) of Canadians say that media coverage of celebrities is not real "news" but simply sensationalized "click bait" to get people to go to media sites or to buy their publications/magazines. Only one in 10 view this type of media coverage as "real news" while three in 10 believe it is a mix of the two.

And news about celebrities, stars and entertainers clearly is more the dessert than the full meal in the information diet in all mediums ranging from print to Twitter to Facebook to regular media sites. Fully 80 percent regularly spent time following Canadian news, while 72 percent followed international news and 41 percent business and finance. Only 35 percent said they spent time regularly on news about celebrities, stars and entertainers.

The details:

1. How often do you spend time following these types of news during your day—in all mediums ranging from print to Twitter to Facebook to regular media sites? (Very or Somewhat regularly, as opposed to Not very often or Not at all)

    News of things happening in Canada    80% (regularly)
    News of things happening internationally  72% (regularly)
    News about business and finance   41% (regularly)
    News about celebrities, stars and entertainers  35% (regularly) 

2. Do you think media coverage about what celebrities do or what is going on in their lives is real "news" or simply sensationalized "click bait" to get people to go to media sites reporting on it or to buy their publications/magazines?

    Real news   9%
    Click bait  63%
    Both   27%

3. Who is most likely nowadays to create sensationalized "click bait" to drive people to media sites—celebrities themselves and their publicists to get noticed by as many people as possible OR media who do sensationalized stories about celebrities to get as many people as possible to their digital media site to earn ad revenue?

    Celebrities  32%
    Media   68%

For full tabular results, please visit the Ipsos website.

Ipsos Reid poll conducted the poll between November 11th to 16th, 2013 on behalf of The Canadian Journalism Foundation, using an online sample of 1,108 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel. Results were weighted to ensure that the sample's composition reflects the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all Canadians adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. Ipsos Reid's Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada—all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is a non-profit organization that promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement through an annual awards program; by supporting journalism websites (English) and (French), in collaboration with the country's leading journalism schools; by organizing events that facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, government officials, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society; and by fostering opportunities for journalism education, training and research. For more about the CJF, please visit


SOURCE: Canadian Journalism Foundation

For further information:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs

Natalie Turvey
Executive Director
The Canadian Journalism Foundation
(416)-955-0394 ext. 501


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