BBC Trust: 'Encouraging' that 49 per cent of public would choose BBC News over rivals for impartiality

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The BBC Trust has said it is "encouraging" that 49 per cent of UK adults in a survey would turn to BBC News for impartiality over other sources.

According to the new survey conducted in February this year, 14 per cent of respondents would choose ITV, 6 per cent Sky News and 3 per cent Channel 4. Some 6 per cent said they didn’t know, while 22 per cent chose another source.

Some 1,873 UK adults over the age of 16 taking part in the survey were asked: "Of all news sources, which ONE source are you most likely to turn to if you want impartial news coverage?"

Trust chairman Lord Patten said in the Trust’s report that the BBC had “seriously let down borth itself and licence fee payers” last autumn, with the Newsnight crises and the departure of Director General George Entwhistle.

But he claimed that although the public’s perception of accuracy, trustworthiness and impartiality fell during this time, this had recovered by the start of 2013.
 
The BBC Trust, meanwhile, was critical of BBC News coverage of events outside of London, and Westminster in particular.
 
Radio 4 was picked out specifically, with the trust now calling for the executive to do more to extend the radio channel’s reach across the UK.
 
On the BBC as a whole, the Trust said a report by former ITV chief executive officer Stuart Prebble had found that the corporation “goes to great lengths to provide a breadth of opinion”.

But it added: “Nonetheless, we felt that the range of opnion may be narrowed in some subject areas by too great a focus on a Westminster agenda. We have, therefore, asked the executive to ensure it has effective systems in place to monitor opinion more widely.”

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