Industry News

Commercial radio news vital and trusted, say listeners

Commercial radio news provides a vital and valued service to listeners, reinforcing radio’s position as the most reliable and trusted medium in an era of proliferating fake news, according to new research to be launched in Parliament today.

Breaking News: How listeners value commercial radio news explores the views of commercial radio listeners on different types of news, the role it plays in their lives and overall levels of trust in media.

The report found that radio is the most trusted medium, with 77% of listeners saying that they trust radio for national news. Listeners particularly value regular news updates throughout the day especially: – in the morning (when 83% turn to radio) – when travelling in car (when 85% turn to radio) – during local emergencies (when 60% turn to radio).

The report showcases extraordinary examples of news teams from around the country responding to major events, providing audiences with up-to-the-minute news and information.

Read the report in full here.

Minster for Digital Matt Hancock MP, who provided a foreword for the report, and LBC’s breakfast show host Nick Ferrari will be attending the launch. The event is hosted by Mims Davies MP, former commercial radio journalist and new Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Radio.

Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre says: “Commercial radio’s great strength is providing short, punchy news all day. It scores particularly well during emergencies and local incidents. Above all, it is trusted, accessible and impartial. “To ensure listeners continue to have access to this treasured resource, we look forward to the Government publishing its proposals on commercial radio deregulation.”

The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital says: “Commercial radio continues to play a crucial role in providing news and information for millions of people. “Radiocentre’s new research provides a welcome reminder of the value of this coverage whether it’s providing headlines in the morning, updates when travelling in a car or breaking news throughout the day.”

Mims Davies MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Radio says: “It was really encouraging to see the great results from Radiocentre’s new research on how listeners value and trust commercial radio news. “As a former commercial radio journalist and presenter I know how important it is to provide high-quality regular updates and it’s clear from this latest study that listeners agree. I look forward to working with the radio industry over the next few years in order to bolster the important public service that it provides.” The findings from this new research are consistent with recent reports from Ofcom (News Consumption in the UK 2016) and the European Commission (Eurobarometer 86, 2017), which also found higher levels of trust in radio than any other media.

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For further information, contact Michael Ireland on 020 7010 0651 or

NOTES TO EDITORS: Radiocentre commissioned independent research company Other Lines of Enquiry to survey 1,200 commercial radio listeners who also listen to BBC radio. Quotas were applied to ensure a nationally representative sample of demographics. Key findings from the research are included below.

Scale of radio news Listeners really value the updates and regular bulletins provided by commercial stations.

• 79% agree that commercial radio provides helpful, concise updates on the news.

• 77% agree that commercial radio helps them stay informed of what’s happening.

• 57% use commercial radio as a prompt to go and find out more about particular stories.

Role of radio news In our survey commercial radio listeners told us that they value regular news updates throughout the day, especially:

• in the morning (when 83% turn to radio)

• when travelling in car (when 85% turn to radio)

• during local emergencies (when 60% turn to radio)

Trust in radio news

• 77% said they see radio as a trusted source of national news, more than any other media.

• Only 15% of people trust social media for national news.

• 61% said they were concerned about the rising trend of fake news.