While in the car, 85 percent of U.K. commercial
radio listeners pay attention to radio news. Credit: Radiocentre
LONDON — Seventy-seven
percent of residents surveyed in the United Kingdom say that
they trust radio more than any other medium as their source for accurate
That’s the takeaway from the study “Breaking News: How Listeners Value Commercial
Radio News.” Compiled by the research firm “Other Lines of Enquiry”
and sponsored by commercial radio industry group Radiocentre, the study
surveyed 1,200 U.K. commercial radio listeners, including those who also listen
to BBC radio (46 percent frequently and 54 percent infrequently).
“We know that radio is
popular in the U.K., with about 90 percent of all residents tuning to radio
every week, but we hadn’t realized how undervalued radio news is,” said Matt
Payton, Radiocentre’s director of external affairs.
“Eighty-eight percent of
the people we surveyed are interested or very interested in keeping up-to-date
with the latest news. Seventy-seven percent of them said radio is the source
they trust most to get this news; ahead of TV, newspapers, and social media.”
BY THE NUMBERS
According to the 1,200
U.K. commercial radio listeners, 83 percent tune into radio news bulletins in
the morning, and 85 percent percent listen to radio news while during in the
car. As well, 60 percent of
these people tune to radio news during local emergencies.
In contrast, the
numbers for other media during local emergencies are 40 percent for TV; 30
percent for social media, 20 percent for newspaper websites/apps, and 8 percent
for print newspapers.
On questions of trust,
79 percent of the listeners surveyed agreed that commercial radio “gives
helpful, concise updates on the news throughout the day.” Seventy-seven percent
agreed that commercial radio news “helps me stay informed of what’s happening
in the world around me,” and 57 percent agreed that radio news “prompts me to
find out more about news stories.”
FIGHTING FAKE NEWS
propagandistic “fake news” reports turning up on the web and social media, “Sixty-one
percent of the people we surveyed are now concerned or very concerned about
fake news,” said Payton.
It was in this context
that 77 percent of those surveyed cited radio as a “most trusted medium” for
accurate information. TV was second with 74 percent also assigning it “most trusted
medium” status. Print newspapers ranked third in this category at 48 percent; newspaper
websites and apps fourth at 45 percent, and social media last at just 15
The bottom line,
according to the report: In the U.K., radio is the most trusted source of
reliable, accurate news — particularly
in the internet age.