Measuring Children's Media Consumption Effectively

A Pilot Project Using Radiocontrol

Stephanie Weiss and Manuel Daehler
SBC Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Switzerland

BACKGROUND

Information and communication technologies have become an integral part of our everyday lives. The media offering available is huge and plays an important role in the life of every individual, irrespective of age. The opportunities and risks of limitless and in most cases free access to information, knowledge and a wide range of entertainment have become a focus of critical public debate. Above all the subject of children and the media is receiving a great deal of public attention at present. The most pressing concern here is the impact the various media have, especially on minors. Highly publicized cases of youth allegedly being inspired to commit crimes by computer games or their excessive consumption of violent films are deeply disturbing and worrying for the public at large and raise some important questions regarding how this phenomenon should be tackled. The subject is of interest not just to parents and teachers, but also to the providers of content designed specifically for children and young people. These media providers, for example, are naturally interested in knowing how their young audiences actually use the various media available, when and where their media consumption takes place and what this younger generation expects of the “classical” media.