Radio survey shows rising concern over adult material

Bad language and lewd banter are becoming a turn-off for commercial radio listeners, particularly during the “school run”, according to a major research project.

Forty-seven per cent of listeners with children were concerned about the transmission of adult subject matter between 8am and 9am, according to the Listening 2000 survey – jointly commissioned by the Radio Authority and Broadcasting Standards Commission.

The survey shows a huge increase in concern that children might hear something inappropriate on the radio during the day, up from 36 per cent of parents in 1994 – when research was last conducted – to 60 per cent.

Sixty-four per cent of parents and 63 per cent of respondents thought adult material should not be covered on daytime radio. Eighty-five per cent said bad language should not be used in daytime radio broadcasts.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of respondents said they had been offended by something they heard on the radio. Two-thirds switched off their radio or tuned into another station because of it.

However, in the qualitative section of the research, many respondents believed there was a “watershed” system for radio, which is not the case.

The report was commissioned following a huge increase in complaints about the treatment of callers to phone-in programmes and the broadcasting of lewd and adult material.

The research consisted of group discussions, followed by quantitative analysis of 1,994 respondents.

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