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Indians more concerned about global issues than anybody else: Study

MUMBAI: A study commissioned by BBC World News showed that 84 per cent of Indians are more concerned about world events now than they have ever been.The figure was the highest of all countries surveyed and above the global average of 69 per cent.

The research further revealed that seven out of 10 people are more concerned about world events than ever before. India also topped the global poll for use of global news coverage for making decision about how to protect family (58 per cent).

BBC Global News Ltd 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.”

The study also showed that more than three quarters of Indians feel that news from other parts of the world is more relevant to them now than in the past, and terrorism, environment and health were the biggest issues for them.

On average, in the countries polled, the main areas of concern were news stories about terrorism (70%), war/conflict (59%), health (55%), and the environment (52%). Terrorism was the main concern in five of the eight countries, including India, where 71 per cent of people surveyed said it is something they are concerned about.

People from India were more likely than any other nationals to be concerned about the environment (62%). Health (63%), corruption (60%), and human rights (52%) also scored strongly in the country. Only 1 per cent of respondents in India said they were not concerned about any global news stories.

Over two-thirds in India said that they discuss international news with friends and family and more than 50 per cent of Indians have turned to social media to read more about news stories. 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.

The research added that globalisation is driving interest and behavioural change, with over half of those surveyed globally saying that they pay more attention to global news (55%) and that they discuss international news with friends and family after seeing global news stories (58%). 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.

Meanwhile, nearly two thirds of respondents globally (64%) 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 three-quarters (76%).

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

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

In fact, globally, over a quarter (26%) said that they have given advice to others as a result of seeing coverage of global stories but the figure was almost double (51%) in India.

Recent figures also showed that figures for the BBC’s international news services have grown across all three of its platforms—TV, radio, and online—over the past year.

The study was conducted by YouGov on behalf of BBC World News between 13 and 25 March 2015. Respondents were nationally representative, online, or urban samples from the USA, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India. The total sample size was 7,691 adults. The total sample size in India was 1005 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the urban population of adults in India (aged 18+).