Australians concerned news organisations focus on commercial objectives more than credibility, BBC study claims

A new BBC study suggests 64% Australians fear news organisations are more concerned with commercial objectives than providing fair and impartial news to audiences.

The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 Australians and was conducted by The Digital Edge, suggests a number of Australians are concerned with impartiality and credible news, with 74% of Australians believing there has been an increase in agenda-driven news over the last five years, while 59% worry agenda-driven news will lead to a loss of credible news sources.

The majority of those who believe there is an agenda sit between the ages of 18 and 41. However, 87% of Australians believe it is the media companies’ responsibility to give them news they can trust.

And while a number of Australians are concerned about news-driven agendas, 42% admitted they weren’t always aware an organisation had an agenda.

Jamie Angus, BBC World Service global editorial director, said it is imperative Australian audiences continue to have trusted news sources.

“Now more than ever, content is being influenced by various agendas, which isn’t just an issue in Australia, however a high percentage of Australians (68%) believe that some news organizations’ agendas are driven by governments, or commercial owners resulting in biased news coverage. This perception is driving concern among the public as to where they can obtain balanced, impartial news,” Angus said.

Jay Savage, BBC Australia online editor, said audiences shouldn’t have to feel worried or unsure about news providers.

“The fact that 42% state that reporting seems biased to one side of the story, and 25% believe that reporting seems more sensational than factual, shows Australians do not fully trust the credibility of some of the content that is being offered to them,” Savage said.

“With younger audiences in particular growing more and more skeptical of media content, it’s essential that news providers focus on offering trustworthy stories, through high-quality, diverse journalism.”


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