SAIT students navigate the news, seeking hard facts

The internet has dramatically changed how we take in news, and students are the latest generation trying to navigate these changes.

According to Stats Canada, Canadians’ use of newspapers, magazines, TV and radio to learn the news has been steadily declining since 2003 while use of the internet has skyrocketed.

Kyle Etty, a SAIT Civil Engineering Technology student, said that he gets his news almost exclusively from the internet.

“Reddit usually is kind of where I go,” Etty said.

Etty said he believes social media has a huge role in modern news sharing, and most people get their news that way.

Sophia Kim, an architecture technology student at SAIT, shares this sentiment.

“Even though it’s real news, there’s so many opinions there [on social media], it’s not just facts,” Kim said.

She reflected that while social media like Facebook and Twitter might present events steeped in opinion and agenda, a trusted news site like the CBC presents the facts.

According to a survey conducted by Stats Canada, a quarter of Canadians only use one type of media to follow current events, based on a 2013 survey.

“Differences among age groups in the type of media used were found for people who stayed informed using only one type of media. Among young people aged 15 to 34 who used only one medium, 60 per cent used the Internet,” according to the Stats Canada webpage.

“Even though it’s real news, there’s so many opinions there [on social media], it’s not just facts,” Kim said.

“The Internet is different from the other types of media in that it also allows users to read newspapers, watch television and listen to the radio. However, it was not possible to determine through the survey exactly how people who use the Internet follow news and current affairs.”

Stats Canada also found trust in the media among young people is low, with about 36 per cent of 15- to 34-year-olds reporting that they have confidence in the media, in a 2013 survey.

Among the general population, about 40 per cent of Canadians have confidence in news media.

However, both Etty and Kim said that, in general, they trust the news.

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