Public to give views on news

The opinions of children and public views on the reliability of news coverage are likely to be measured in a survey of opinions about Irish broadcasting.

Public to give views on news

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will also compare views between rural and urban audiences, men and women, different age groups and people from different social backgrounds.

The research, over three years, is being designed to provide information on public perception of broadcasting in terms of value and importance.

It will also aim to show how the public considers named broadcasting services in Ireland deliver on various legislative and other regulatory objectives, including on diversity of choice, innovation, and cultural and linguistic diversity.

Changes in attitudes over time will also be monitored, as well as any patterns in whether people are moving to new devices to view or listen to stations.

The survey of around 1,500 adults will include around 200 participants in the North. Views on whether children could or should be included in the research are also being sought from those submitting tenders to do the work for the BAI.

Among the 25 questions that people will be asked, most likely in telephone interviews, will be one about news coverage of different broadcasters.

The sample question suggests a range of options on whether the participant agrees or disagrees, and to what extent, with the statement ‘its news is trustworthy’. The survey would ask for a response on the statement on seven listed broadcasters: RTÉ, TG4, TV3, UTV Ireland, BBC Northern Ireland, Channel 4 and Sky.

In response to a request for details of further sample questions, and more about the nature of the research, a BAI spokesperson said it would not be appropriate to comment further on the tender document specifics or provide additional answers to the Irish Examiner’s questions.

It said this was because the competitive tender process was continuing, and to ensure it was run in fairly.

“This is a new research activity for the BAI and the organisation expects to expand on the use of tracker surveys in the future,” she said. “Tracker surveys are considered ‘live’ research activities and will enable the BAI to track, record and respond to trends in the broadcasting and general media environments over a period of time.”

The survey is also being designed to complement data already available to BAI through broadcasters or other external research bodies.

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