Online political news site the Canary experienced a wave of growth in July which saw it overtake the Economist and Private Eye in terms of total page views. The left-wing site, which bills itself as “a counterpoint to mainstream controlled media’’, rose 47 spots from 126th in June to 79th in July among the top UK publishers.
With the Labour leadership election looming on the 24th of September, media attention has become focussed on leadership rivals Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith. The Canary is definitively pro-Corbyn, so it makes sense that the website has increased traffic as the election date gets nearer. As there is a widely held belief amongst Corbyn supporters (as well as broader sections of society) that the mainstream media is unfairly biased against him, it also makes sense that a news source claiming to report the ‘other’ side of political events is seeing its popularity rise.
The Canary’s traffic increase could also be illustrative of a broader trend in the press-politics-public nexus. Whether left-wing or not, the public is increasingly aware that the news we receive from mainstream sources doesn’t always paint the whole picture.
A recent PwC report on cross border news outlets found that 66% of respondents receive news from multiple sources originating from outside their home country. Engaging with such a broad selection of media sources may not mean that the information you receive is necessarily less biased, but it does give you a better perspective of world events. The same applies for outlets like the Canary: wholly driven by its own agenda but a necessary addition if you want to expand your perspective on current affairs.