New research reveals 7 out of 10 people are more concerned about world events than ever before

These results show the increasing impact and relevance of news events to people across the world. At a time when many news providers are cutting their international coverage, and opinion and propaganda are being touted as fact, audiences want to cut through the noise in search of information they can use to inform their understanding and decisions.Jim Egan, CEO, BBC Global News Ltd
Date: 09.06.2015     Last updated: 09.06.2015 at 05.00
Category: BBC World News
  • Study by BBC World News also shows that almost two thirds of people feel that news from other parts of the world is more relevant to them now than in the past
  • Terrorism, conflict, health and the environment are biggest issues
  • Over half discuss international news with friends and family
  • Almost 4 in 10 have read stories on social media to find out more 

BBC World News today announced the findings of a new global survey* into changing attitudes towards international affairs. Sixty-nine per cent of people surveyed said they are more concerned about world events now than they have ever been before and nearly two thirds (64 per cent) say that news stories from other parts of the world feel more relevant to them than they have in the past.

On average in the countries polled, the main areas of concern were news stories about terrorism (70 per cent), war/conflict (59 per cent), health (55 per cent) and the environment (52 per cent). Terrorism was the main concern in five of the eight countries polled but corruption was cited as the biggest issue in South Africa, health was number one in Hong Kong and war/conflict came first in Germany.

The study suggests that global news plays an important role in making people feel informed about what’s going on in the world (68 per cent) and understanding it (62 per cent).

Globalisation is driving interest and behavioural change, with more than half of those surveyed saying that they pay more attention to global news (55 per cent) and that they discuss international news with friends and family as a result of seeing global news stories (58 per cent). Over a third of people (36 per cent) use it to make decisions about how to protect their family and more than a quarter (28 per cent) find it useful for making financial choices. A similar proportion (26 per cent) said that they have given advice to others as a result of seeing coverage of global stories and 38 per cent of people said they have read stories on social media to find out more.

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd, which owns BBC World News and BBC.com/news, says: “These results show the increasing impact and relevance of news events to people across the world. At a time when many news providers are cutting their international coverage, and opinion and propaganda are being touted as fact, audiences want to cut through the noise in search of information they can use to inform their understanding and decisions. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, access to accurate, impartial news, whether on TV, radio, online or social media, is more important than ever.”

Recent figures** show that the BBC’s international news services across all three of its platforms - TV, radio and online - have grown over the past year. BBC Global News Ltd’s audience has grown to 105 million with BBC World News TV’s up by 12 per cent, and bbc.com/news growing by 16 per cent. For the first time, television (148m) overtook radio (133m) as the most popular platform for BBC international news. The BBC World Service’s audience has increased by 10 per cent and now stands at 210m, with the biggest boost coming from new World Service TV news bulletins in languages other than English.

Notes to Editors

*Source: Study conducted by YouGov on behalf of BBC World News between 13 and 25 March 2015. Respondents were nationally representative, online or urban samples from USA, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. Total sample size was 7,691 adults.

USA - Total sample size was 1,179 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all USA adults (aged 18+).

Germany - Total sample size was 1,012 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all German adults (aged 18+).

Japan - Total sample size was 1,000 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the online population of adults in Japan (aged 18+).

South Africa - Total sample size was 500 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all South African adults (aged 18+) around urban areas.

Australia - Total sample size was 1,001 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

Hong Kong - Total sample size was 994 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the online population of adults in Hong Kong (aged 18+).

Singapore - Total sample size was 1,000 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the online population of adults in Singapore (aged 18+).

India - Total sample size was 1,005 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the urban population of adults in India (aged 18+).

**Source: The BBC Global Audience Measure

BBC World News and BBC.com, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour English news platforms, are owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd. BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 385 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel's content is also available on 178 cruise ships, 53 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. BBC.com offers up-to-the minute international news and in-depth analysis for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 80 million unique browsers each month.

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