Methods for measuring TV and radio audiences, Methods for studying real TV and radio behavior - Sociology of Mass Communications. Theory and practice

Measuring methods of tele-, radioauditoria

It does not matter what happens in empiricism. This is an ideal principle, and it is tested under ideal conditions, and therefore, never. However, he is faithful.

Umberto Eco. Foucault's pendulum

The definition of a potential audience for radio and television is solved by sufficiently well-developed methods, among which the survey is dominated (through interviews or questionnaires). As a rule, the models of television viewing and radio listening are being clarified. Still, problems remain when it comes to a real audience. Even for a newspaper, it's not all simple - whether the person reading the entire newspaper reads it or signs it. And here the techniques are worked out, the & quot; with the number in hands & quot; method is used, when this process is fixed in the laboratory almost in the laboratory.

With radio and television, everything is more complicated - they are consumed in real time, and tracking the behavior of a person during the day is quite difficult. Here, problems can be divided into studies of the qualitative characteristics of this behavior and quantitative ones. As for the qualitative characteristics, in principle only the traditional methods of communicating with people (an interview or a personal questionnaire, by mail, by phone) are suitable. Scope of assessments of a person, his preferences, dreams, interests, etc. can be investigated only during such procedures.

Techniques for studying real TV and radio behavior

Information about the behavior - more or less specifically - can be collected by phone (a blitz poll about viewing a particular broadcast or the very fact of viewing at the moment). At one time, writes American sociologist C. Bartlett, "the telephone call, coinciding with the transfer, became a research symbol of determining the size of the audience." Another way is an interview on memory, when you are asked the next day what you saw yesterday all day long. The same problem is solved by personal interviews, when the interviewer visits you at home, but with the same question - what did you watch the day before. Sometimes in such cases you use forms with yesterday's printed TV programs, where you capture the ones that really looked.

More extensive information of this kind can be collected with the help of the "diary (radio) of a TV consumer". In this case, the researcher turns to the family (the principles of family selection are professional knowledge and will be discussed further) with a request to fix as accurately as possible all the contacts of all family members (sometimes including guests) within 24 hours with the source of information. On the form of the diary on the left, there is a day-by-day schedule (the diary, as a rule, is stitched into a small booklet, where a page is allocated for one day) at time intervals of fifteen minutes. The TV viewer can only mark which member of the family watched at that time what program, enter the number (name) of the TV channel and the name of the program. In the diary are recorded certain socio-demographic characteristics of each member of the family. At the same time, the researcher should make the information recording system as easy as possible for the respondent, since even in this case the task is no less complicated than the one that the centipede solved at the time, when she was asked what foot she was walking from. Put yourself in the place of one of the family members, life does not seem to you a paradise, especially if you have at your fingertips not three but thirty-three channels, and members of your family have different tastes, you have a lot of times to switch from channel to channel Do not forget to fix your choice in the diary.

The research structure TNS Gallup Media facilitates the task for its respondents by the fact that in the preliminary survey, when the willingness of people to participate in such a study is being discussed, the set of tele- and radio channels addressed to the family . In a real diary, these channels are pasted, leaving for & quot; random & quot; channels free space. Nevertheless, the diary is not left in the & quot; subject & quot; family for more than one or two weeks, the purity of the experiment with such a load for a longer time will be in question. Subjective qualities can spoil the business - elementary forgetfulness, misunderstanding of instructions, and even simply dishonesty.

But recently, with the growth of technological transformations, the methodology itself comes into question - it's about remote control of its television viewing. The very fact of having a remote control quite modifies our behavior: during commercial breaks some of them are running around all available air. In addition, the problem of the availability of satellite channels has become urgent for a number of countries, which are very difficult - with their abundance - to identify. Practice of recording from the air of a signal is widespread, and then repeated viewing, video games, etc. When these problems are irrelevant for the country, the diary remains a fairly common way of capturing the purely quantitative parameters of the audience in general and in different groups.

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