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India most aware about global affairs, 52% tune in to social media for news: BBC Survey

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MUMBAI: Close to 84 per cent Indians are aware about world events amongst all the countries as per a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) global survey. The percentile secured by India is way over the global average of 69 per cent.

On average, in the countries polled, the main areas of concern were news stories about terrorism with 70 per cent, war or conflict 59 per cent of the surveyed population whereas health was an issue for 55 per cent and the environment had 52 per cent followers. Terrorism was the main concern in five of the eight countries, including India, where 71 per cent of people surveyed saying it is something they are concerned about. People from India were more likely than any of the other nations polled to be concerned about the environment (62 per cent). Health (63 per cent), corruption 60 (per cent) and human rights (52 per cent) also scored strongly in the country. Only one per cent of respondents in India said they were not concerned about any global news stories.

Nearly 64 per cent of respondents globally said that news stories from other parts of the world felt more relevant to them than they had in the past. In India this rose to more than 76 per cent.

The study suggests that global news plays an important role in making people feel informed about what’s going on in the world (68 per cent) and understanding it (62 per cent). It shows that Indians feel particularly strongly about the importance of global news, with figures considerably higher than the global average – 73 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

Globalisation is driving interest and behavioural change, with more than half of those surveyed globally saying that they pay more attention to global news (55 per cent) and that they discuss international news with friends and family as a result of seeing global news stories (58 per cent). Again, India polled higher with 69 per cent saying they had spoken to friends and family about a global news story, considerably higher than the all market average.

Across all markets, around a third of people (36 per cent) use global news coverage to make decisions about how to protect their family but, in India, this rose to more than half (58 per cent), which was more than any other country surveyed. Globally, around a quarter (28 per cent) find it useful for making financial choices but 46 per cent of Indians use it for this purpose.

Globally, over 26 per cent said that they have given advice to others as a result of seeing coverage of global stories but the figure was doubled in India 51 per cent. Close to 52 per cent of Indians said they have turned to social media to read about news stories, compared to a global average of just 38 per cent.

BBC Global News CEO Jim Egan said, “These results show the increasing impact and relevance of news events to people across the world. At a time when many news providers are cutting their international coverage and opinion and propaganda are being touted as fact, audiences want to cut through the noise in search of information they can use to inform their understanding and decisions. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, access to accurate, impartial news, whether on TV, radio, online or social media, is more important than ever.”

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