‘Your Life and the Future’ is the latest piece of research by Bauer Media NI (Cool FM, Downtown & Downtown Country) which has gauged the mindset of listeners regarding life in Northern Ireland, both now and in the future.
Tracking a wide range of feelings, from lifestyle concerns to attitudes towards travel, the research revealed just how much priorities have changed since the start of the Covid lockdown in 2020.
Two thirds admitted they don’t know who to trust these days, 75% said they are worried about the pace of change and 76% are unable to imagine what the future holds.
Coinciding with the NI Assembly elections, healthcare topped the poll as the most important issue facing the public (85%), followed by the economy (71%), poverty & inequality (62%), education (60%) and Brexit (45%).
The movement back to a new normal, together with the easing of restrictions was also highlighted with only 25% concerned about Coronavirus. This contrasts directly with the 81% who were very worried about Coronavirus in autumn 2021.
The ever-spiralling cost of living was also a feature of the research with 73% saying they expect their disposable income to be significantly less in 2022 than it was last year. This, coupled with 91% stating mental health as one of their biggest challenges, provides a strong indication of the social and mental ‘wellness’ of the population.
Sharing the findings on election day, David Tighe, Managing Director of Bauer Media NI said: “This research is timely as it gives a clear indication of the changing mood landscape across Northern Ireland, particularly as the focus shifts to new priorities in a post Covid world.
“While it is easy to highlight the concerns and worries, there were also some clear positives, with 59% applauding Northern Ireland businesses for being innovative in the face of change. Likewise, nearly two thirds are excited by the prospect of globalisation and all it presents for our local entrepreneurs.
“There are also great opportunities for the local tourism sector to capitalise on the 69% of the respondents who say they will holiday in Ireland this summer. Likewise, with 64% of those questioned admitting to being ‘constantly’ or ‘mostly’ connected to their devices, technology provides a significant means of engagement.
“The findings also reveal that radio remains a highly trusted media platform thanks to its ability to connect and inform. To reflect this Bauer will continue to harness the power of new technologies to deliver even more innovative output – traditionally and digitally – building trust across our many audience groups.”