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New News, Old News

Grant Holders: Ian Hargreaves & Dr James Thomas

Funder: Independent Television Commission

This research was undertaken against a background of great concern about declining levels of voting and, apparently, diminishing levels of attention paid to news. Many have argued that news, including broadcast news, has dumbed down and is failing to provide the information needed by today's citizens.

The findings of the study confirm that there has been a significant decline in audiences for television and radio news and current affairs, along with a well-logged decline in the use of newspapers. Television news is less effective than it used to be at reaching young people and has severe difficulties among some sections of Britain's ethnic minority communities.

Ian Hargreaves has evolved the New News, Old News project into New News, Future News (Ofcom 2007).