Social Media Leads News Sources for Toronto University Students: Poll

By: Daniela Olariu

A recent poll indicates that most undergraduate Toronto university students regularly consume news from the Internet and social media.

The joint poll done by the Ryerson school of journalism and political science department first asked students whether they regularly consume news. Seventy-two per cent say they regularly consume news either online or from newspapers and TV, while 27 per cent do not consume news.


When asked where they find news, 40 per cent of students rely on the Internet and 35 per cent rely on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Twelve per cent get their news from television, five per cent rely on friends and six per cent do not consume news according to the poll.


The combined 74 per cent for Internet and social media suggests this is the most popular way for students to find news.

Keren Gottfried, a Ryerson master’s student in public policy and administration says 70 per cent is a high percentage of news consumers, which indicates this is a highly informed sample.

A digital news report done by Oxford University in 2014 concludes that Internet news consumption has reached a new level of intensity.

The report surveyed approximately 19,000 people from 10 countries and the results indicated that 84 per cent of the sample consumes news on the Internet and social media websites, while only 40 per cent read newspapers.

“Among this group we found that the majority (59%) are now making ongoing payments in the form of digital subscriptions for online news,” said Nic Newman, editor of the digital news report. “The Internet and social media websites are changing consumer patterns particularly amongst the young but are a long way from replacing traditional platforms, which remain important for all.”

The public opinion survey of 1,155 undergraduate degree students at Ryerson, OCAD University, George Brown College and University of Toronto was conducted between Jan. 22 and 29. The Latest figures show roughly 112,000 students attend those institutions at the undergraduate level.

The survey has a margin of error that ranges from plus-or-minus 3.02 per cent and 3.78 per cent, 99 per cent of the time.