Don't believe everything you read about the newspaper industry.


According to the latest Newspaper Audience Databank survey results released this morning, the vast majority of Canadians continue to read newspapers.


Last year, 69 per cent of Canadians - 12.9 million people - read a newspaper over the course of a week, and when online readers are added in, that number grows to 77 per cent.


"Newspapers continue to play an important role in the lives of Canadians," said Metro English Canada group publisher Bill McDonald. "Readers in the millions rely on newspapers every day for the information that is important to their lives."


As newspapers maintain their strength, Metro Canada is setting the industry standard -- not just as the most read free daily in the country, but for all papers.

Metro Canada now reaches more than 1.1 million readers every day, an increase of 157,600 (17 per cent) over 2007. Weekly Metro readers in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver total 2.26 million, or 12 per cent more than in 2007.

"The Metro brand has solidified its leadership position from coast to coast," said McDonald. "Readers and advertisers alike turn to Metro first every day for information, ideas and inspiration."

Since Metro Edmonton is wrapping up its second year in the community, the paper has yet to complete a full ratings cycle. But Metro Alberta publisher Steve Shrout is excited about the daily's position in Edmonton going forward.

"Metro is experiencing growth," Shrout said. "As we begin our third year in Edmonton, we will continue to gain a strong foothold in the marketplace as we produce a news package that aggressively speaks to a young, active, metropolitan reader."