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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 01:33 GMT
More viewers 'rely' on TV news
The BBC's John Simpson in Afghanistan
The number of people in the UK who rely on television for their world news has risen sharply since 11 September 2001, a survey has suggested.

Television was the main source of world news for 79% of people in 2002, the survey by the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) said.

That rose from 66% in 2001 - when research was carried out before 11 September.

And BBC One overtook ITV1 as the channel of choice for most viewers when questioned about which channel they preferred overall.

Television was the main and most trusted source of news for seven out of 10 people, the report said.

"The 2002 survey underlines the importance of access to independent, impartial news programmes on popular channels," ITC chief executive Patricia Hodgson said.

BBC One - 34%
ITV1 - 27%
BBC Two - 7%
Channel 4 - 7%
Sky One - 4%
Sky Sports - 4%
Five - 3%
The number of people relying on newspapers dropped between 2001 and 2002, and 89% said they thought TV news was accurate all or most of the time.

Asked which channel they would want if they could have just one, 34% chose BBC One, compared with 27% for ITV1.

"This is great news for the channel and shows that our investment in programmes has paid off," a BBC spokeswoman said.

But worries about the quality of shows have risen.

Some 47% said standards had got worse, up from 28% in 2000.

The biggest complaint was about the number of repeats, with concerns about low quality, invasions of privacy, swearing and violence also registering.

The report also said digital TV is now in 41% of homes, and 46% have PCs.

Paula Bolt, director of the BSC, said: "This survey shows that while a large proportion of the public now has access to a wide range of home entertainment services, many people still have real concerns about standards on the familiar terrestrial channels."

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