Bad news for Doughty Street?
But it’s not all good news for the mainstream media either…
Research by OFCOM suggests that there’s little demand for services like 18 Doughty Street which have a deliberate bias.
Preliminary figures suggest somewhere in the region of 95% of people want their news and current affairs broadcasting to be impartial. 18 Doughty Street’s stated aim is to show the news and offer debate with a right-wing slant to it.
Trust in news
I understand the report will also show some interesting figures about trust in various news sources. While trust in BBC News, ITV News and especially Channel 4 News has fallen since 2002, the people’s trust in The Sun and Sky News has risen quite quickly.
Meanwhile, people say they’re fed-up of ‘celebrity’ news, but do actually like entertainment stories. Interestingly, people think there’s too much politics in the news, and would prefer to see more local stories.
And while television and radio tends to divide people according to their ethnic group (radio seems to be particularly bad at serving Asian audiences), newspapers are actually viewed as positively by Asian and Black people as the population as a whole.
One of the report’s authors, Ian Hargreaves, also thinks that while news websites are getting bigger audiences (27%), the internet might not be an adequate substitute for traditional sources, such as newspapers and television.
Radio in decline?
Finally, radio as a major source of news is in decline – perhaps surprisingly – falling from 59% to 52%. It’ll be interesting to see whether the commercial radio industry take this as a sign they need to invest more in news, or whether they see the trend as a reason to spend less.
All of the figures are preliminary and OFCOM will release its full report later in 2007.
The full report is due out later in the year.