Commercial radio “increased commitment to news” during pandemic

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New research has found that commercial radio stations across the UK have increased their commitment to news and information in the months since the start of the lockdown.

The Radiocentre report shows that on average they broadcast 25% more news bulletins and that they were 28% longer.

“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,” said Siobhan Kenny, Radiocentre CEO.

“While this report highlights great content and initiatives, the case studies here only scratch the surface of what has been broadcast to our 36m listeners every week throughout the pandemic.”

The report, Commercial Radio: A force for good, says that commercial radio has been an important vehicle for delivering Government messages through bulletins and public health information advertising.

“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,” added Andy Carter MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Radio.