Scottish Government
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Public attitudes to broadcasting

As new research is published on public attitudes to broadcasting, the Scottish Government has announced a summit to explore the direction of Scottish broadcasting.

The summit, to be held in February, will be hosted jointly by the Saltire Society and Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop. Chair of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission Blair Jenkins will deliver the keynote address. Participants will be asked to outline their views and aspirations for broadcasting in Scotland and the Scottish Government will seek to re-energise efforts to increase Scotland's share of UK network production.

Research on viewers' attitudes to broadcasting in Scotland shows that while overall satisfaction with how Scotland is portrayed on television has improved slightly, there has been no improvement in levels of satisfaction at Scottish reporting on UK-wide news programmes.

Forty-four per cent of viewers say they are either very or fairly satisfied with Scottish reporting on UK news programmes, against forty-nine per cent last year. Forty-six per cent state that UK news reporting relating to Scotland is always or usually clear, against 42 per cent last year.

Three-quarters of viewers see it as important to have a choice of channels on which to receive Scottish news. Almost seven in 10 respondents (68 per cent) are interested in a new Scottish news programme on another channel (69 per cent last year). Seventy-five per cent of viewers are interested in a news Scottish digital television channel.

Ms Hyslop said:

"The Scottish Broadcasting Commission highlighted Scottish viewers' expectation of high-quality broadcasting and programming relevant to life in Scotland. This research makes clear those expectations remain and that broadcasters have much more to do to meet them.

"It is encouraging to see slight progress in the overall satisfaction at how Scotland is portrayed on television and on overall satisfaction with BBC ONE and BBC TWO, but the issue around clarity and relevance of UK-wide news programming remains a major concern.

"I am pleased the research shows that there is strong support for a new Scottish digital network endures. Clearly Scottish viewers still want the high-quality service indicated by the Scottish Broadcasting Commission and continue to see value in a choice of relevant programming. While broadcasting remains reserved to the UK Government, we will continue to make the case for such a network and seek to work with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to develop proposals that would meet the needs of the people of Scotland.

"There continues to be overwhelming support in favour of Scottish national football team's competitive fixtures being shown on free-to-air terrestrial channels. That is exactly why we recently responded to the Davies review of the list of protected sporting events, urging DCMS to place these matches on the list for the benefit of the people of Scotland.

"The broadcasting summit will give us a chance to bring the Scottish broadcasting industry together, to get views out in the open and to seek to work together on addressing these issues which are of great importance to the people of Scotland."

The Public Attitudes to Broadcasting research was commissioned by the Scottish Government.

Attendees at the broadcasting summit will include broadcasters, producers, academics and other members of the media industry.

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