CHAPTER ONE: BACKGROUND, METHOD AND OBJECTIVES
1.1 The Scottish Broadcasting Commission was established in August 2007 to conduct an independent investigation into the current state of television production and broadcasting in Scotland. Its purpose is to define a strategic way forward for the industry and it will report in summer 2008.
1.2 Taking account of the economic, cultural and democratic importance of broadcasting to a modern, outward looking Scotland and its creative industries, the Commission will:
- Make recommendations for Scottish Government action in those areas that lie within the scope of the powers currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament
- Focus attention on issues where other organisations have responsibility and encourage action to address these issues
- Identify matters for further consideration and debate in the Scottish Parliament.
1.3 In making recommendations and in identifying matters for action or further debate, the Commission is asked to take account of "the economic, cultural and democratic importance" of broadcasting. The economic imperative phase largely relates to television production for the UK and international markets, and as such the investigation is to be addressed through means other than survey research.
1.4 The cultural imperative phase of the investigation will consider the distinctive role for broadcasting in Scotland's cultural life through reflecting and stimulating creativity across Scotland's different regions and groups, and through communications between Scotland and the wider world. The democratic stage of inquiries will look at broadcast journalism in Scotland and at whether improvements need to be made to the existing range of programmes and services available to viewers.
1.5 To assist in their investigations into the areas of culture and democracy in broadcasting TNS System Three was commissioned by the Scottish Government to conduct research amongst a representative sample of the adult Scottish population. The research was carried out using the Scottish Opinion Survey ( SOS).
1.6 The SOS is a monthly omnibus survey conducted amongst a sample of around 1,000 adults in Scotland using Computer Aided Personal Interviewing ( CAPI). For this research, fieldwork took place during the period 27 th February and 5 th March 2008 and a total of 1,021 interviews were achieved. This sample was representative of the adult population in terms of sex, age, employment status and socio-economic group ( SEG) 1.
1.7 The sample covered 43 constituencies throughout Scotland, with sampling points selected to be representative in terms of geographical location (including one island point - Orkney) and party of current Member of the Scottish Parliament ( MSP). The SOS uses a quota sampling methodology and interviewers use a 'random route' technique within each sampling point to select addresses. Only one interview per household is permitted. Additionally for this survey the Highlands and Islands area was boosted with an additional sample point to increase the base size for analysis purposes. As is the case each month, the achieved sample was weighted to ensure that it represents Scotland's population and is consistent between waves should future tracking be required. The weighting applied is based on population estimates from the National Readership Survey 2006. Table 1.1 outlines the composition of the sample for the SOS in February 2008.
Table 1.1 - Sample profile
Base: All respondents (1021)
1.8 Given the importance of ascertaining the views of adults living within different regions of Scotland, where there are significant differences by region these are highlighted in the text. The eight regions referred to within the report are: Highlands & Islands, North East, Mid & Fife, Lothian, Central, Glasgow, West and South. The specific sampling points included within each of these regions (and within the three broader areas of West, East/South and North) are listed in Appendix 3.
1.9 The principal aim of the project was to provide research into the views of adults on broadcasting in Scotland.
1.10 In order to meet this aim, 2 key research objectives were addressed:
1 Investigate perceptions of, and satisfaction with, the way Scotland is currently covered by broadcasters, with particular emphasis on:
- the way current broadcasting reflects life in Scotland and Scottish identity;
- coverage of Scottish news and different aspects of Scottish news (e.g. politics, sport, public life, entertainment) in network news programmes;
2 Examine behaviours, and expectations, in relation to broadcasting with specific reference to:
- importance of seeing Scottish news on television;
- regional level at which respondents would like news to be based;
- importance of choice of channels in provision of Scottish news on television;
- use of different media to find out about world/ UK/Scottish/local news;
- use of different platforms to find out about different aspects of news;
- interest in a new Scottish digital channel (e.g. on Freeview, Sky, Broadband) and views on what this might look like;
- views towards 'topical' Scottish broadcasting issues (e.g. the format of the early evening news programme, live coverage of Scottish national football matches on terrestrial TV).
1.11 A copy of the questionnaire used in the survey is provided in Appendix 1.