ComBase—the Canadian Community Newspaper Database—was launched in September 2001 as an initiative of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association and its 750+ members to provide readership research to the community newspaper industry in Canada. Since the pilot study, which included newspapers in five markets, ComBase expanded to become North America’s largest media study, covering over 400 markets across Canada. The study provided consistent and accurate, market-by-market information to assist in the buying and selling of community newspaper advertising space.
Operated as an independent company by a tri-partite board of directors, ComBase represented publishers, advertisers, and agencies with an equal vote. ComBase included a large variety of media, including ethnic and alternative press to traders, employment papers, shoppers, farm publications, dailies, entertainment publications, free publications and over 900 radio stations.
In addition to the pilot study, two major studies were conducted: 2003-2005 and 2008-2009. The final study in 2008-2009 was conducted in more than 200 markets across the country, resulting in more than 40,000 interviews. The questionnaire remained relatively unchanged with some additional questions on the internet, readership of online newspapers and flyer usage.
Overall, community newspaper readership remained strong, with 74% of Canadians reading their community newspaper. Readership was particularly strong among desirable target groups:
- 76% of women
- 78% of baby boomers
- 77% of adults with children
- 74% of university-educated adults
- 76% of homeowners
- 78% of affluent Canadians (i.e., household income >$75K)
Source: ComBase 2008-2009. Base: Adults 18+, Canada. Read any of the last four issues.
Community Newspaper Research Today
Newspapers Canada and its partners continue to conduct research on behalf of community newspapers. For more information, visit the Community Newspaper Research page, or contact Kelly Levson, Director of Marketing and Research, at [email protected].