The Media in Figures: UK audience attitudes to the broadcast media (part three)

RESEARCH undertaken by the broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, has found that, while TV remains the main source of news for what is going on in the UK and around the world, for those taking part in a UK-wide study of audience attitudes towards the broadcast media, the number is down: from 76 per cent to 71 per cent between 2012 and last year.

And, continues Ofcom, the internet was the most popular medium for getting UK and world news for 11 per cent of respondents (up four per cent on two years previously, 2011). Among 16-34s, this figure increased from 13 per cent in 2011 to 18 per cent in 2013.

Other findings include:

* For local news, TV was also the main source for the majority of respondents (50 per cent), followed by newspapers (13 per cent) and the internet (ten per cent); and

* The rate of decrease in perceptions of impartiality in television news, seen between 2010 and 2012, has slowed (57 per cent in 2013 compared to 66 per cent in 2010). Year-on-year, no change was seen in perceptions of impartiality among the broadcasters asked about, except for ITV. Since 2012, the proportion of those saying ITV was impartial dropped from 44 per cent to 40 per cent in 2013.


As in 2012, 76 per cent of respondents said they listened to the radio at least several times a week, while around half (48 per cent) said they listened to the radio every day.

Other findings included:

* Older age groups were more likely to say they listened every day (36 per cent of over-65s versus. 13 per cent of 16-24 year olds);

* Levels of offence related to radio remained very low; among those who listen to the radio, one per cent said they had personally heard something on the radio that they found offensive in the past 12 months. This compares to two per cent in 2012;

* Radio listeners were asked to rate the extent to which they personally relied on BBC/commercial radio stations for coverage of certain local issues and events, with a score of one being ‘completely rely on’ and five ‘do not rely on at all’. Looking at the top two ratings, results among BBC and commercial stations showed little differences. About a third of commercial radio listeners and BBC radio listeners said that they relied on the radio for coverage of local news (33 per cent versus 34 per cent), travel/weather (36 per cent versus 35 per cent) and emergencies such as snow and floods (32 per cent versus 30 per cent); and

* Over half (56 per cent) of those who listen to commercial radio stations agreed with the statement that present levels of advertising and programme sponsorship ‘don’t bother me but I would not want any more’. A quarter (25 per cent) agreed with the statement ‘there is already more than I am really happy with’ (a significant increase compared to 21 per cent in 2011) and 11 per cent claimed they are ‘not really bothered by it’.

SourceUK audience attitudes towards the broadcast media, July 3 2014. Read part four on Friday, on