Canadians struggle to distinguish between real and fake news: survey

Half of survey participants also reported clicking on a headline expecting to read balanced coverage

A national online survey suggests that a growing number of Canadians struggle to distinguish between real and fake news.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation survey found that 40 per cent of respondents said they had little to no confidence in their ability to tell the difference between factual and false information shared in media reports.

More than half of survey participants also reported clicking on a headline expecting to read a balanced news account, only to find the story was pushing an agenda.

The survey found 48 per cent of respondents struggled to distinguish between fact and falsehood, while doubts about the authenticity of news stories had jumped 10 per cent in the past year.

READ MORE: How confident are you at spotting ‘fake news’?

READ MORE: Not much Elections Canada can do about fake news spread about candidates

The Canadian Journalism Foundation says the survey findings are troubling, particularly in the run-up to a federal election.

The survey, conducted over a five-day period last month, sampled more than 2,300 Canadians.

Online polls cannot be assigned a margin of error, according to the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.

The Canadian Press

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