News Outlets Need To Keep Focused On International Affairs, Says BBC

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BBC World News has announced the findings of a new global survey into changing attitudes towards international affairs.

Phoebe Price
Posted by Phoebe Price

The study showed that an average 69 per cent of people are more concerned about world events now than they have ever been before.

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd, which owns BBC World News and, said, “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.”

The study revealed that Australians feel that global news plays an important role in making them feel informed about what’s going on in the world (72 per cent) and understanding it (60 per cent).


Globalisation is driving interest and behavioural change, with more than half of Australians (56 per cent) surveyed saying that they pay more attention to global news and that they discuss international news with friends and family (56 per cent).

Some 73 per cent of Australians cited terrorism as a global news story they are currently most concerned about, followed by war/conflict (61 per cent) and the global economy (51 per cent). Globally, the main areas of concern were terrorism (70 per cent), war/conflict (59 per cent), health (55 per cent) and the environment (52 per cent).  Corruption was cited as the biggest issue in South Africa (65 per cent), health was number one in Hong Kong (71 per cent) and war/conflict came first in Germany (73 per cent).

Globally, nearly two thirds of respondents (64 per cent) said that news stories from other parts of the world felt more relevant to them than they had in the past and in Australia 73 per cent of respondents were more concerned about global issues than five years ago.

On average, of the countries polled, 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 turned to social media to read more about news stories.