Radio News in the UK

The BBC does more radio than anybody else in the UK. It has a has a number of UK-wide radio stations and many have news bulletins/programmes.

Radio One is aimed at young people and is mostly music. But it does have a popular news programme — Newsbeat.

On the same day, listen to Newsbeat on Radio 1 and the Six O’Clock News bulletin on Radio 4. Compare the two programmes. Do they cover the same stories? In what ways are they the same and in what ways are they different?

Radio Two is aimed at an older audience and is also mostly music. It does not have any specific news programmes but has hourly bulletins. It’s 8am news bulletin is thought to be one of the most popular sources of radio news in the country.

Radio Three is a classical music station and has little news.

Radio Four is entirely speech (no music) and has several very popular news programmes. The best known of these is Today which is a breakfast programme. Other programmes are The World at OnePM and The World Tonight. There is also a really good half hour bulletin at 6pm every weekday evening.

Listen to these Radio 4 programmes. Which do you prefer? Why?

Radio 5 Live is a 24/7 news and sport radio station. It’s very fast-paced and popular with younger people.

There is also a network of local BBC radio stations around the UK. Here in Wales the BBC’s English language radio station is Radio Wales. The BBC also has a Welsh language radio station: Radio Cymru

You can access all of the BBC’s radio stations for free through BBC Sounds — via desktop or the app (you will need to register, but it’s easy to do).

Listen to Welsh news on BBC Radio Wales or Heart in Cardiff. How does the news sound different on these stations?

Steffan Powell studied at JOMEC and now works for Radio One’s Newsbeat programme. Can you find him on Twitter?


Global is the main commercial radio company in the UK. It has a network of stations around the country — including Heart in Cardiff. It also operates LBC in London (good for news) and Classic FM. You can listen to all of them on the Global app and find out more on the Global website.

Times Radio

Times Radio launched in June 2020 with the aim of competing with the BBC’s Radio 4 news programmes. It is linked to The Times newspaper and has its own phone app. Here’s an article from the Economist about it.

Monocle 24

The radio arm of The Monocle magazine. The Globalist is the station’s breakfast news programme.

Listen back to the latest edition of The Globalist. Do you like it? Does it sound different to the news programmes on Radio 4? In what way?

talkRadio is a speech station owned by the Wireless Group, which is a subsidiary of News Corp, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It’s the sister station of Times Radio. The hourly news bulletins are provided by Sky News Radio.