Online media outlets on the grow in Canada

Special to WC Online

CANADA – A new research study recently released by AdWest Marketing Inc. in conjunction with Totum Research reveals many Canadians are transitioning to E-Editions, the digital replica of the printed newspaper, as their source for local news.

The study, How Geography Impacts Shopping Habits, Patterns and E-Commerce, undertaken in February 2023 involved 2,492 participants and focused on how the size and location of their home community affected their media consumption and shopping habits.

“One of the biggest revelations from the results was the level of engagement across all community shapes and sizes with newspaper E-Editions,” AdWest Marketing Inc. CEO Jeff Beardsworth released in a statement today (Nov. 21).

According to the study’s results, 42 per cent of Canadians living in urban markets with a population of more than 100,000 indicated they had read an E-Edition (a digitized replica of the printed newspaper) last week. That number, coupled with the 39 per cent of urban Canadians who indicated they had read a newspaper in printed form, brings the total number of Canadians who engaged with a traditional format newspaper in the last week to nearly six in 10. 

In rural Canada, the numbers skew more towards engagement with the printed version of the newspaper, with 44 per cent saying they’d read a printed newspaper in the last week and 35 per cent indicating they’d engaged with the E-Edition.  Overall, 60 per cent of rural Canadians admitted to having read either a printed newspaper or a digital replica of the printed newspaper in the last week.

This study is one of the first to isolate engagement with an E-Edition from its website.

“It’s obvious that moving forward, the newspaper industry must clearly define how its audience is engaging with the platform so advertisers have a clear understanding of what that engagement actually looks like and how it affects their planning activities”, Beardsworth said. “Previously, most studies have focused on two things: engagement with the printed product and/or engagement with the website product. This becomes problematic when a website visit is required for a reader to access the E-Edition, resulting in a bit of a double hit on the numbers when you try to interpret them. Engagement is being removed from the ‘print’ product, even though an E-Edition is the identical packaging of news but in a digital format, and attributed to the website. Removing readership of E-Editions from ‘website engagement’ and reassigning it to engagement with the printed newspaper puts a totally different perspective on everything.”

“Are the study results indicators of trends in how newspapers will be consumed in the future? It’s too early to tell,” Beardsworth said. “For many publications, the E-Edition was the first foray into putting their newspaper online. I would say that engagement with E-Editions has always been high but likely not receiving proper attribution, sending a bit of a mixed message. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that for most Canadians, the traditional look and feel of a newspaper is something they want, whether it’s printed on newsprint or viewed on a screen.”

To view the results or learn more about the study, commissioned by AdWest, conducted by Totum Research Inc., and funded in part by the Department of Canadian Heritage, visit:

In West Carleton, there are no options for those who prefer a paper product. But there is an option for those who still want West Carleton focused news produced by actual reporters on the ground, and that is West Carleton Online, now operating in its fifth year.

West Carleton Online is the first media outlet in the community’s history to provide daily coverage on the West Carleton-March area. From breaking news to politics to event coverage and community news, West Carleton Online covers everything in the community every day.

If you would like to support community journalism, locally owned in West Carleton, you can subscribe for only $50 per year. It’s also the perfect holiday gift for your family, friends or neighbours. For more information, email West Carleton Online publisher Jake Davies at

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