Research: UK kids favour BBC TV for Covid-19 news

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UK Broadcast regulator Ofcom has published research on how children aged 12-15 are receiving and acting on news and information during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

The research, which is based on the responses of over 500 children and covers weeks three and four of the ‘lockdown’, shows that:

  • nearly all 12-15 year olds (96 per cent) said they had accessed news about Covid-19 in the last week;
  • ninety-two per cent of 12-15s who speak to family members for news about the virus are confident their relatives tell them the truth about it. The BBC’s reporting on the pandemic is also highly trusted by those children that use it (87 per cent);
  • children are more likely to turn to BBC TV than other broadcasters for news about the outbreak (49 per cent), compared with a third who use ITV (30 per cent) and a fifth who get information from Sky (21 per cent);
  • just under half of 12-15s use social media as a source of information about the virus (48 per cent), with YouTube (20 per cent), Facebook or Facebook Messenger (20 per cent) and Instagram (18 per cent), proving most popular;
  • half of children (52 per cent) agree that they are finding it hard to know what is true or false about Covid-19; and
  • a clear majority of children agree that the crisis is showing good things about our country, such as more support for the NHS (83 per cent).

Separately, Ofcom has also published its latest weekly research which shows UK adults’ consumption of news and information about the Coronavirus. During week six of lockdown:

  • the majority of respondents (94 per cent) continued to access news about the Coronavirus at least once a day. But only 8 per cent of people now access news about the pandemic at least 20 times a day, compared with a quarter (24 per cent) in week one;
  • women are more likely than men to be actively avoiding news about the virus (37 per cent vs. 29 per cent); and
  • fewer people have come across false or misleading information about Coronavirus in the last week (47 per cent vs. 50 per cent in week five). Only 4 per cent of people forwarded or shared the misinformation, compared with 7 per cent in week one.

Ofcom will now be publishing the key findings from this research on a fortnightly basis, with its next full report scheduled for Tuesday May 26th. Its interactive data report will continue to be updated on a weekly basis.


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