During the last 9 months NGO "Telekritika" held two representative surveys of residents of cities of Ukraine (in September 2013 a study conducted, consisting of 1,000 personal interviews ; a survey, implemented in June 2014, includes 1,000 telephone interviews).
The purpose of these studies is to understand the demand for public broadcasting.
Within the time past since the first wave of study our society has changed dramatically. One of the consequences of revolutionary events is the mobilization of civil society and development of civil broadcasters that broadcast their programs via Internet. Our report reflects the changes in perception of the idea of creating a public broadcasting by city residents who have the right to take part in elections of officials.
Over the past nine months number of respondents who are aware of the project to create a public broadcasting in Ukraine (22% in September 2013 and 22% in June 2014) remains stable. Of participants of the June survey, 55% asserted that in the last 6 months they have encountered information on public service broadcasting, and 35% said they did not encounter such information, 11% found it difficult to answer.
Assessments of purposes of public service broadcasting are unstable - the audience has no holistic view of the function of public broadcasting.
In the June survey respondents who trust or are satisfied with the quality of programs of civil broadcasters equal 30% (hereinafter this group is denoted as "those who trust the initiatives of civil broadcasting"). Only one third of this group is aware of the idea of creating public broadcasting in Ukraine (33%). And, accordingly, two thirds (65%) of respondents who trust the civil broadcasters do not know about the idea of creating a public television. Familiarity with the programs of civil broadcasters has insignificant effect on awareness of the project of public broadcasting.
Number of spectators willing to pay for public television increased. In a study conducted in September 2013, 37% of the respondents agreed to pay for public television viewing. In June 2014, this group constituted 54%.
21% of respondents, who participated in the study in June 2014, are willing to pay less than UAH 25 per month, while 26% of respondents are willing to spend the amount of UAH 25 to UAH 50, and only 4% of those surveyed in the summer of 2014 are ready to pay between UAH 51 and UAH 75 per month. 2% of respondents are willing to spend the amount between UAH 76 to UAH 100. Respondents who agreed to pay more than UAH 100 per month constituted 1% of the total number of study participants.
There is a growing polarization of attitudes towards the creation of public broadcasting. Increased the number of those who consider implementation of the project of public broadcasting as important (from 55% in September 2013 to 61% in June 2014). But, at the same time, the majority of respondents, talking about the importance of the implementation of public television, do not know about the idea of creating a public broadcasting in Ukraine. Simultaneously, increased the number of those who lowly appreciates the importance of creating a public television (from 11% in September 2013 to 25% in June 2014). And decreased the number of persons undecided about their opinion on this issue (the group with a "neutral attitude" from 13% in September 2013 to 5% in June 2014, a group of those "who found it difficult to answer" from 21% in September 2013 to 9% in June 2014).
Number of respondents attributing primary responsibility for the creation of public broadcasting in Ukraine to the authorities increased from 23% in September 2013 to 38% in June 2014. Also increased the number of those who believe that the primary responsibility in this matter is with the people of Ukraine (from 16% in September 2013 to 30% in June 2014). At the same time, decreased the number of those who believe that the responsibility for creation of public broadcasting cannot be attributed to anyone (from 17% in September 2013 to 5% in June 2014).
Assessments of changes in the quality of news programs of the "First National" TV channel (since March 2014) are of mixed nature. 50% of respondents reported that they noticed a change in the quality of the programs. At the same time, 24% of respondents of the June survey asserted that changes haven’t occurred and 25% of respondents could not answer this question. Relative majority of respondents tend to positively evaluate changes in quality of the channel’s programs 29%. 17% of respondents evaluate changes as negative. 5% of the survey participants evaluated changes as both positive and negative at the same time. More polarized evaluations of changes in programs of the "First National" among those who trust the civil broadcasters. 74% of respondents in this group saw changes in the quality of news programs. 39% reported a positive nature of change. At the same time, 27% evaluated the changes as negative.
In the regional perspective, residents of the Western (34%) and Central (35%) macroregions tend to give relatively more optimistic assessments of changes in the news programs of the "First National" compared with the Eastern (23%) and Southern (24%). Residents of the Southern (30%) and Eastern (33%) macroregions, relatively more often than those in the Western (15%) and Central (20%) macroregions, tend to say that they have not decided about opinion on this issue.
Political bias of "Hromadske TV" was indicated by 10% of respondents in the June survey. 4% of respondents see political bias in the programs of "Espresso.TV" and 5% of respondents in the programs of "Hromadske Radio".
The most famous among civil broadcasters is "Hromadske.TV" - 31%. 24% and 17% of the survey participants are familiar with "Espresso.TV" and "Hromadske Radіo", respectively.
As a result of higher popularity, there are more of those who trust the programs of "Hromadske.TV” (11%), compared to “Espreso.TV” (8%) and "Hromadske Radіo" (6%). And a relatively larger number of those who do not trust: "Hromadske.TV” (4%), “Espresso.TV" (3%) and "Hromadske Radіo" (3%).
The situation is similar with assessment of professionalism of hosts and the quality of programs. High professionalism of R. Skrypin is noted by 9%, 15% of respondents rate highly the quality of programs. Professionalism of M. Knyazhytskyi is noted by 8% respondents, the quality of programs "Espresso.TV" is assessed highly by 12%. Professionalism of O. Kulykov as the host of "Hromadske Radіo" is mentioned by 5% of respondents, 7% rated highly the quality of programs of "Hromadske Radіo".
Residents of the Western (35%) and Central (32%) macroregions are more likely to trust civil broadcasters than residents of the Southern (28%) and Eastern (27%) macroregions. Although, the scale of the differences in trust to civil broadcasters depending on the region of residence of the respondent cannot be considered as significant.