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UK audience attitudes to the broadcast media

Published 07|05|13

Background

This document provides a summary of findings from Ofcom's Annual Media Tracker survey. The research explores UK adults' attitudes and opinions towards television and radio broadcasting, and related areas such as news consumption and privacy.

The Media Tracker was commissioned in its current form in 2008, but some of the questions and topics have been monitored on an annual basis since the early 90s, when the Independent Television Commission, one of Ofcom's predecessor bodies, ran the survey. Some of the pre-2008 results are reported here in the interest of making the information publicly available in one place. However, comparisons over time should be made with caution, due to methodological changes over the period.

The Media Tracker research provides a valuable source of information on consumers' attitudes, and helps inform Ofcom's work on broadcasting standards. Under the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom has a duty to draw up, and from time to time revise, a Code for television and radio services covering programme standards, including the protection of under-eighteens, the application of generally accepted standards to provide adequate protection from the inclusion of harmful or offensive material, sponsorship, product placement in television programmes, and fairness and privacy. This is known as the Broadcasting Code ('the Code') and came into effect in July 2005.

Ofcom recognises that generally accepted standards are subject to change over time and should be underpinned by consumer research. Ofcom's Media Tracker is one of a range of consumer research sources which Ofcom draws on in undertaking its duties in relation to standards on television and radio.

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