NEWS9 July 2020

Commercial radio news output rises in lockdown

Covid-19 Media News Trends UK

UK – Commercial radio stations in the UK have increased their news coverage by a quarter since the beginning of lockdown, according to research from commercial radio industry body Radiocentre.


The report, Commercial radio: A force for good, found that news bulletins increased 25% in frequency and 28% in length across the commercial radio industry.

In total, the report found commercial radio stations delivered 10 hours a week on average of news and sport, travel, weather, local events and charity appeals.

Around 36 million people – 66% of the population – listen to commercial radio at least once a week, the report states.

Around 85% of people were either listen to the same amount or more of commercial radio during the lockdown, according to the report. Radio was the most trusted source of news and information, the report found, with 77% trusting its output.

In comparison, television was at 74%, print newspapers at 48%, news websites and apps at 45% and social media at 15%.

Siobhan Kenny, chief executive of Radiocentre, said: “Despite the recent challenges, commercial radio has continued to deliver significant value for audiences, not only in terms of even stronger news and information output, but also in broader types of public service content through initiatives on everything from mental health to charitable work, to providing a sense of community and companionship.”

Andy Carter, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Radio and Conservative MP for Warrington South, said: “At this time of national emergency the commercial radio industry has demonstrated its significant public value.

“Steps taken so far by government and Ofcom to support the industry are welcome but the sector will require further support in order to safeguard a viable British commercial radio industry.”