I surveyed three of my classes this week with the question “What do you like about…” and “What do you had about…” and then fill in the ending with the Internet, Television, Radio and Print (newspapers, magazines).
The results were not what I expected. The students are grades 10-12 and range in age from 15-18. They are 70 percent female and nearly 90 percent Hispanic. But the answers were interesting to say the least.
On the Internet they said…
Unsurprisingly, students like the Internet. They find it good for communication, social networking, fun and games. They dislike spam, slow connections, viruses and outages of the Internet.
The surprise was that they did not see it as a primary source of entertainment.
On Television they said…
Unsurprisingly, students do not like commercials. They also don’t like so many reality shows, negative news, and that shows are not on when they want them to be.
Surprisingly, students still really like to watch TV. They see it as a primary mode of entertainment. More than one student said that TV is passsive, lazy and without stress. And they LIKE it that way. They like shows that appeal to teens and they like cartoons.
Surprisingly, radio is in big danger – or maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise. Kids don’t listen to or really like the radio. They don’t like the constant commercials and the fact that they don’t play the songs they want to listen to when they want to hear them. They’d rather listen to their iPods, which don’t have a radio tuner.
The kids actually enjoy print. But they don’t really like newspapers, they’d rather read a magazine. Magazines cater to their likes and magazines have large, full-color photos.
Newspapers are not interactive and the articles are too long. They also don’t like it that they are messy and dirty. They basically see them as boring.
Radio and newspapers are in trouble if they don’t find a way to appeal to the young. But TV, magazines and news sites are doing fine with this target audience as long as they keep finding ways to address the topics they like.