Index 2024
14/ 180
Score : 81.7
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
15/ 180
Score : 83.53
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

While Canada continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to international press freedom protections and practices, there is more room for progress, particularly with regards to press coverage involving the rights of indigenous peoples and land disputes.

Media landscape

Canada’s two largest newspapers, The Globe and Mail and the National Post, circulate widely throughout the country. The largest radio and television broadcaster is The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is taxpayer-funded, produces two hours of news daily, both local and national, and broadcasts a separate 24/7 news channel. Other media options include local newspapers, cable television, and other online and radio sources. More than 80% of Canadian media is owned by just 5 corporations.

Political context

Media outlets in Canada are generally free of pressure from politicians, political parties, and political movements. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is owned by the government, but operates independently. The government has publicly acknowledged that “media freedom remains an important part of democratic societies and essential to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Legal framework

Canada has repeatedly demonstrated a legal commitment to freedom of the press, including “shield laws” to protect journalists and their sources. However, in a few instances, journalists have been arrested while covering protests, particularly those over indigenous rights and land usage. Freelance journalist Amber Bracken was arrested in 2021 while covering a protest over a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia. Reporter Brandi Morin was arrested by Edmonton Police in January 2024 while covering police action against a homeless encampment. These arrests and the charges brought against journalists threaten to set a dangerous precedent and could have a chilling effect on reporting in Canada.

Economic context

Print newspaper sales have been declining in Canada for over a decade, a trend recently exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19. The industry has made a shift to online advertisement and subscriptions, but revenues have eroded, leading to the shutdown of small outlets and loss of good-paying jobs in the journalism industry. The Canadian government also actively supports local journalism through an initiative that provides funding to outlets to hire journalists. In 2023, the Canadian Public Broadcasting (CBC) announced it was cutting about 10% of its workforce and TVA said it was letting go of about one-third of its staff.

Sociocultural context

Although Canadians say they still have some confidence in journalism, their overall trust in the media has declined. 


While journalists are typically safe to do their jobs in Canada, reporters covering the 2022 Freedom Convoy to protest vaccine mandates received death threats, were spat on, and were verbally and physically harassed. The window of a CBC Radio Canada vehicle was smashed. Online harassment poses a threat, especially to female and minority journalists.

Abuses in real time in Canada

Killed since 1st January 2024
0 journalists
0 media workers
Detained as of today
0 journalists
0 media workers