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News media consumption among young Australians: patterns of use and attitudes towards media reporting.

It is estimated that youth spend more time engaging with media per day than they spend devoted to any other leisure activity (Strasburger, 2004). This current generation of youth, more than any other, has been defined by the proliferation and globalisation of media as youth culture

and media become inextricably entwined (Gigli, 2004). Research across fields has suggested that youth audiences are not passive but rather make active choices about the media they consume, responding differently according to their own individual characteristics (Arnett et al., 1995).

Uses and gratifications theory focuses on the motivations of audiences, how they use media and the needs that are satisfied by that engagement (for discussion, see Arnett et al., 1995; Wakefield et al., 2003). This approach suggests that youth choose to use media for a variety reasons, such as for self-socialisation or to seek information, and both their choice of and responses to media will vary depending upon factors such as age and sex (Arnett, 1995; Arnett et al., 1995). But despite this knowledge, there is limited publicly available information outlining the patterns of youth media consumption in Australia (Sternberg, 2006)--that is, what youth choose to use and their responses to it. Commercially produced surveys often only take into account adult news media consumption patterns, and the industry measurements that are available tell us little about the ways in which media are perceived (Burton, 1999). Indeed, Australian media researchers have been criticised for their 'reticence' towards youth audiences (Bisnette, 1990: 55). It has been noted that it is not only teenagers who have been neglected, but also the 18-24-year-old age group, who are virtually absent from the literature as they fall between teenage and adult demographics. The result has been a growing mythology around how youth use and respond to media (Sternberg, 1998).

The limited extant research suggests that although young people may rely on news media as a source of information, they also believe that news media do not adequately address issues of importance to them (Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, 2003). It has been suggested that Australian youth audiences are 'deserting news and current affairs genres', not through apathy but due to the perception that these formats lack credibility (Burton, 1999: 61). The argument has also been put forward that while youth may not be concerned with wider political issues presented in the news media, they will engage with issues that affect them directly (Burton, 1999). Based on this limited research, and the uses and gratifications approach, we can hypothesise that youth consumption of and responses to news media are likely to vary depending on the individual's characteristics, the relevance of the format and content to their needs, and their perceptions of the trustworthiness of news media as a source of information. At present, however, knowledge of whether or not Australian youth audiences choose to engage with news media, and how they perceive that content (especially in relation to issues of relevance to them), is limited.

We contest that there are two important reasons for understanding both patterns of youth news media consumption and young people's perceptions of what they use. First, there has been a rising concern within news media industries about losing youth audiences, especially in light of global speculation about declining and ageing news audiences (see Quinn, 2005; Turner, 2005; Young, 2009). It has been said that youth media consumption represents the 'predictive capacity of future adult consumption' (Sternberg, 1998: 86). In this context, a study of youth media consumption patterns is likely to shed light on the age-old question of whether young people will pick up the news habit later on (Young, 2009: 156). Second, an extensive body of research has demonstrated that media can impact on youth attitudes regarding issues such as violence (e.g. Brown et al., 2002; Anderson et al., 2003; Rowell Huesmann et al., 2006), body image (e.g. Posavac et al., 1998; Brown et al., 2002; Mills et al., 2002) and sexual behaviour (e.g. Brown et al., 2002; Taylor, 2005; Brown et al., 2006), and these effects have been found to be moderated by individual, social and cultural factors (Roberts et al., 1999; Brown et al., 2002). However, Arnett (1995) has emphasised the need to look beyond a 'passive' conceptualisation of media effects, and consider the role of youth as active media consumers. From this perspective, the focus becomes 'what people do with media, rather than what the media do to them' (Wakefield et al., 2003: 93). Given the proliferation and globalisation of media, Arnett (1995: 518) argues that understanding how youth differentially use and respond to media 'is important to a comprehensive understanding of adolescent development in our time'. In this context, knowledge of media consumption patterns across and within sub-populations of youth, and understanding of youth attitudes towards the media they choose to consume, is important.

The purpose of this article is to provide a more integrated understanding of both the patterns of youth media consumption in Australia and, importantly, how that content is perceived by youth audiences, especially in relation to issues of relevance to them. Thus, using an online survey of 2296 youth aged 16-24 years living in Australia, we aimed to:

* identify the frequency with which Australian youth consumed news media in 2010 by source (television, online, radio, newspaper and street press)

* examine youth attitudes as to the trustworthiness and perceived impacts of news media, assessed in terms of one content domain: reporting of illicit drug issues, and

* analyse the influence of age and sex upon youth media consumption and attitudes towards media reporting of illicit drug issues.

Perceptions of many news media content domains could have been examined. However, we know that illicit drugs are an issue of pertinence for youth, recently being nominated as one of the top issues of concern for young Australians (Mission Australia, 2010). Current Australian research identifies this as the group most likely to take up and/or use illicit drugs in a frequent manner. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported that in 2007 almost one quarter of 14-19-year-old Australians, and over half of 20-29-year-olds, had used an illicit drug (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2008). Surveys have highlighted that many young drug users deem media to be one of their principal sources of information on drug issues (Copeland et al., 2001; Gascoigne et al., 2004). We also know that illicit drugs are the subject of prolific reporting, and feature in thousands of news stories each year (Hughes et al., 2010). This content domain therefore provides a good proxy for examination of youth perceptions of news media reporting.

What do we currently know about media audiences in Australia, and youth in particular?

Media audiences are notoriously difficult to measure and estimates differ according to the questions asked and by whom. Survey estimates vary according to how media sources are classified (e.g. commercial television versus all television) and how consumption is measured (e.g. exposure versus retention). Similarly, ratings data (especially in relation to radio) do not tend to isolate news segments from the rest of the station programming (Sternberg, 1998). Variance in estimates reflects in part the purposes for which survey data are collected, with most being collected for commercial purposes. A by-product is that many media consumption estimates in Australia have restricted access, or are selectively and strategically released to the public.

In spite of these challenges, we know that Australians at a broad population level traditionally have preferred television as their primary source of news and information, with newspapers and radio as their second and third preferences (Denemark, 2005). For example, according to a 2007 Roy Morgan poll, the major sources of news and current affairs

were television (53.5 per cent), newspapers (20.5 per cent), radio (16.0 per cent), the internet (9.5 per cent) and magazines (0.5 per cent). The 2007 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes found a similar pattern: 39-49 per cent of surveyed Australians reported daily use of television for news, 38 per cent reported daily use of newspapers and 16-26 per cent reported daily use of radio (cited in Young, 2009). A survey conducted by Essential Research (2010) found that, when measured on a more than weekly basis, youth patterns of news consumption mimicked those of the general population. For example, 44 per cent and 42 per cent of 18-24-year-olds respectively surveyed accessed newspapers and radio news more than weekly, compared with 48 per cent and 46 per cent of the general population (aged 18+). Rates differed mainly regarding daily use, with the general population indicating a higher frequency of news consumption.

Selected survey data has also examined audience attitudes towards news media. For example, Essential Research (2010) found that although commercial television news has the highest consumption, only 9 per cent of those surveyed said they had a lot of trust in it while 55 per cent expressed some trust. Those surveyed placed similar trust in daily newspapers (9 per cent a lot and 53 per cent some trust) but less trust in online news (5 per cent a lot and 44 per cent some trust). There was little difference in the reported level of trust amongst the 18-24-year-olds surveyed: 12 per cent and 15 per cent respectively expressed a lot of trust in commercial television news and newspapers, and 10 per cent said they had a lot of trust in online news. This reveals what Denemark (2005: 237) describes as Australia's 'love-hate relationship' with media--a continuing strong reliance upon media for news and information. Yet significant scepticism remains. It is important to note, however, that the Essential Research (2010) sample was small (1000 participants in total, including only 124 youth) and patterns within youth sub-populations were not examined. This leaves unanswered the question of whether particular populations of youth are more or less likely to use or trust news media. Most importantly, the limited data on youth attitudes to news media do not inform us about youth attitudes to reporting of issues of pertinence to them, or the interrelationship between choice and perceptions of news media.

Method

The data for this study were obtained from a purpose-built web-based survey called the 'Drug Media Survey' that was conducted between January and April 2010. The survey was designed to assess youth attitudes to media reporting on illicit drugs and was targeted at youth aged 16-24 who lived in Australia.

Media consumption patterns were assessed for five types of media sources: television, radio, print newspapers, free street press newspapers (e.g. mX), and online news and current affairs (e.g. Ninemsn). Both traditional media sources (television and newspapers) and new media sources (street press and online) were examined in order to compare traditional formats with emerging formats, many of which have been targeted at younger audiences (see Quinn, 2005; Turner, 2005). Participants were required to respond on a six-point Likert scale as to the frequency of their use of media sources over the last twelve months: every day or almost every day; once a week or more; about once a month; every few months; once a year or more; or never.

Respondents were asked to indicate how much they agreed or disagreed with six attitudinal statements about the media using a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 'Strongly disagree' to 7 'Strongly agree' (the midpoint read 'Neither agree nor disagree'). The survey also collected various demographic information including sex and age.

The survey was developed using Survey Gizmo, an online survey development program, and was designed to take participants 15 to 25 minutes to complete (for details, see Hughes et al., 2010). Cookies were utilised to decrease the likelihood that respondents could enter multiple responses. An array of recruitment methods were utilised with the aim of attracting a broad sample of Australian youth including: university and TAFE career websites; online chat forums and blogs; government and youth-oriented websites; and advertisements in street press and on Facebook. Media releases were also issued to Australian media outlets nationally. All recruitment strategies emphasised that this was a survey about media reporting and that people did not need to have used drugs to participate.

Between 4 January 2010 and 20 April 2010 a total of 3187 respondents accessed the online survey and 72 per cent completed the survey. The final sample included 2296 respondents: which comprised 2284 people who completed the entire survey and an additional twelve who completed the survey with the exception of the final set of questions on perceptions of media influence. Frequency distributions were used to examine the demographics and responses to each outcome measure. Pearson's chi-square was used to determine whether there were statistically significant differences between groups. The results were analysed across the sample as a whole, and also within sub-groups comparing differences by: sex (male, n=748 and female, n=1548) and age (16-19 years old, n=1024 and 20-24 years old, n=1272).

Results

Sample demographics

The sample had a mean age of 20.0 years (SD=2.6 years). Just over 80 per cent of the sample was from New South Wales (30.9 per cent), Victoria (28.0 per cent) and Queensland (21.2 per cent), with the next most populous states being Western Australia (7.1 per cent) and South Australia (6.1 per cent). This is roughly representative of the population distribution of 16-24-year-olds by state and territory in Australia in 2010, as estimated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2011).

The majority of the sample (77.8 per cent) had completed Year 12 or equivalent and an additional 10.8 per cent had completed Year 11 or equivalent. This is similar to ABS (2010) estimates which showed that 60.1 per cent of 15-24-year-olds and 81.2 per cent of 18-24-year-olds had completed Year 12 or equivalent, or attained a formal qualification at Certificate III level or above. While the ABS (2011) estimated that 50.8 per cent of 16-24-year-olds living in Australia in 2010 were male, the sample was dominated by females (67.4 per cent).

Youth media consumption

Between 66.4 and 86.5 per cent of participants reported that they had weekly or more frequent contact with television news, online news, radio news and/or print newspapers. Less than 5.7 per cent said they never had contact with such news media (see Figure 1). Indeed, 17.6 per cent of the sample reported using all five media sources on a weekly or more frequent basis, and an additional 31.8 per cent and 27.3 per cent reported accessing four or three respectively of these media sources on a weekly or more frequent basis.

The most common news medium used was television news. Over half of the sample (53.3 per cent) reported viewing television news every day or almost every day, with a further 33.2 per cent reporting viewing once a week or more. Online news was the second most common source used by youth, with 47.9 per cent of respondents accessing news online every day or almost every day, and 28.0 per cent once a week or more. Radio remained a regular source of news for youth with one third (34.3 per cent) reporting accessing news in this way every day or almost every day. A further 35.7 per cent listened to radio news broadcasting once a week or more.

Despite fears of declining print newspaper readership, approximately one in four (23.4 per cent) surveyed participants reported reading a newspaper every day or almost every day. When including those youth who reported accessing print newspapers once a week or more (42.9 per cent), our results show that two-thirds of the sample have regular contact with printed news reporting. Overall, the data on media usage suggests that Australian youth have a high level of contact with a variety of news media sources with most accessing three or more sources on at least a weekly basis.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Factors affecting patterns of youth news media consumption

There was little difference in media consumption patterns when compared by sex. For example, 52.8 per cent of males and 53.5 per cent of females accessed television news every day or almost every day. Comparisons across age groups revealed more marked differences. Use of television news did not differ significantly between 16-19 and 20-24-year-olds, but for all other media sources, 20-24-year-olds reported more frequent use (see Table 1). The most significant difference concerned use of online news and radio.

The older group reported much higher levels of use of online news, with 55.6 per cent reporting use every day or almost every day in the last twelve months (compared with 38.4 per cent of 16-19-year-olds). That said, for both age groups, only a minority reported never using online news (5.7 per cent of 16-19-year-olds and 3.2 per cent of 20-24-year-olds). Radio news was also more highly utilised by the older group, with 40.4 per cent reporting use every day or almost every day compared with 26.7 per cent of the younger group. These results suggest that age is a factor that affects the pattern of news media consumption, with increasing age tending to increase the frequency of use of almost all forms of news media coverage.

Youth perceptions of media reporting on illicit drug issues

To build upon limited knowledge of how youth audiences perceive news media, we analysed youth perceptions of media reporting on an issue of relevance to them: illicit drug issues. Only 36.2 per cent of the sample saw media as a good source of information on illicit drugs (see Figure 2). Conversely, 59 per cent said they couldn't trust journalists to tell the truth about illicit drugs. Indeed, 58 per cent agreed that news media tend to exaggerate the dangers of illicit drugs. Despite this scepticism, almost half of youth reported that media affected their perceptions of illicit drugs (47.3 per cent) and to a lesser extent those of their peers (39.5 per cent), while 70.4 per cent of the sample saw media as influencing government policy on illicit drugs.

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Factors affecting perceptions of news media

Despite little difference by sex in terms of the reported use of news media sources, perceptions of media reporting on drug issues showed significant differences by sex. Indeed, males and females responded differently on all measures of perception (see Table 2). Males were more likely to report that media exaggerated the dangers of drugs (72.6 per cent compared with 50.9 per cent of females) and that they did not trust journalists to tell the truth about drug issues (69.1 per cent compared with 54.1 per cent of females). Males were in turn much less likely to report they were influenced by media (40.0 per cent compared with 50.8 per cent of females), but more likely to say their peers were influenced (43.8 per cent compared with 37.4 per cent of females). In so doing, males perceived their peers to be more likely than themselves to be influenced by media reporting on drug issues. These results indicate that males are more cynical about media reporting on illicit drugs than females, but are also more likely to ascribe media with affecting peers and government action.

There were no significant differences between age groups in terms of perceived exaggeration of drug issues, the extent to which journalists could be trusted or the extent to which news impacted on government action. However, those in the older age group were less likely to report that media was a good source of knowledge on illicit drugs (34.5 per cent, compared with 38.3 per cent of 16-19-year-olds) and less likely to report that media affected their own perceptions (44.7 per cent, compared with 50.5 per cent) and those of their peers (36.8 per cent, compared with 42.8 per cent). This suggests that, despite increased media exposure, older Australian youth have lower perceptions that news is a good or influential source of information on illicit drug issues.

These results also show that age and sex differentially affect both choice of and responses to media. The lack of consistent relationship between consumption patterns and attitudes towards media reporting suggests that there is no direct association between the two. For example, males were less likely than females to report that news media affected their own perceptions of illicit drugs, despite the fact that we found little variance in media consumption between the sexes. By comparison, age affected both measures, with the older age group reporting increased media consumption but lower perceptions of media as good or influential sources of information.

Discussion

This article adds to the limited available research by providing a more integrated understanding of youth media consumption in Australia and, importantly, how news media are perceived by youth audiences, especially in relation to reporting of issues of relevance to them. Understanding youth as active media consumers, in keeping with a uses and gratifications approach, we have identified patterns of youth media consumption in Australia by source, and provided an examination of youth responses to news media, using the example of reporting of illicit drug issues. As youth are not an homogenous audience, we have also analysed some of the factors that differentially influence use of and attitudes to news media, including age and sex, and have begun to explore the relationship between how youth choose to consume news and their attitudes towards what they encounter.

As with any study, there were a number of methodological limitations. The use of an online survey meant that that the sample was limited to people who were computer literate and had internet access. This may have inflated reported consumption of online news in this sample. Moreover, the survey relied on self-report, which--like all surveys--is open to bias (Mallick et al., 2007). The sample was not representative; however, we contest that the results are nonetheless informative for the field as the sample is far larger than has been previously available (as discussed, Essential Research (2010) sampled only 124 youth). Although not selected on the basis of stratified population sampling, the broad recruitment methods, the large national sample and the high degree of synergy with ABS estimates for the relevant age group (2010, 2011) give confidence in the validity of the results.

While the results have been analysed for differences by age and sex, it was beyond the scope of this article to examine the influence of other demographic characteristics. Variables such as literacy, socio-economic status and ethnicity may have differentiated sub-populations of youth further (for example, European studies have indicated that cultural differences between British and Dutch children may influence their media use--see van der Voort et al., 1998). We also did not measure how news media were consumed or how youth thought media affected government, themselves or their peers. Directional impacts on individual perceptions of portrayals of illicit drugs in the news media are reported elsewhere (see Hughes et al., 2010).

Importantly, this research delved deeper than previous consumption surveys, integrating understandings of patterns of youth media consumption with knowledge of what youth think about the content they consume in relation to reporting of an issue of relevance to them. Youth are not passive receivers of media messages--in fact, they make active choices regarding not only the media they choose to use, but also how they respond to that content (Arnett et al., 1995). These findings go some way towards addressing the research gap by providing evidence that the current generation of Australian youth does choose to have regular contact with news media. This is good news for industry, amid fears that this age group may have been 'deserting' news media altogether. However, our examination of youth attitudes to media reporting on illicit drugs also concurs with previous research suggesting that youth regard mainstream news as lacking credibility, especially in relation to reporting of issues of pertinence to them. Equally, this research suggests that choice and perceptions of news media do not necessarily go hand in hand.

This research supports and extends the findings of previous Australian estimates of reported news media use. It reinforces that television remains the number one news source for younger Australians, but our results indicate that online news (and not the more traditional formats of radio and newspapers) is emerging as the second most popular news medium. These findings regarding the popularity of online news have particular pertinence given the recently discussed strategies of news houses to move away from print and on to iPad and tablet formats (e.g. Simons, 2010), and speculation about audiences moving towards online news as consumption of traditional news formats declines (Young, 2009). Our research also shows that the media youth choose to use, and the frequency of that use, will vary between sub-populations--often in quite notable ways. For example, the younger 16-19-year-old age group reported slightly lower levels of media consumption across all news formats, compared with 20-24-year-olds. These findings regarding differences in age are pertinent regarding the quandary of ageing news audiences and the 'maturation effect' (Sternberg, 1998). As Young (2009) rightly suggests, the generation of youth with which commentators were concerned 30 years ago is now the older generation currently reading newspapers, and the pattern of our results concurs with this assessment.

The findings of this study suggest that the relationship between how youth choose to consume media and their perceptions of media content is complex, reflective of Denemark's (2005: 237) dichotomous description of Australia's 'love-hate relationship' with media. Although overall youth largely believed news media exaggerated the dangers of illicit drugs and didn't trust journalists to tell the truth, those in the sample nonetheless reported regular contact with news media and perceived media to be capable of influencing them and their peers, as well as government policy on drugs. Attitudes to media reporting were also shown to be moderated by age and sex. The results strongly indicate that males were more sceptical about media reporting on illicit drugs. Males were more likely than females not to think of news media as a good source of knowledge on illicit drugs, more likely not to trust journalists and more likely to believe that media exaggerate the dangers of illicit drug use. From a uses and gratifications perspective, this suggests that although both males and females may show similarities in how they choose to use news media, differences by sex may account for variation in the satisfaction they derive from that engagement--hence the marked differences in their responses to reporting of a particular content domain. The extent to which males hold similar views regarding other content domains has not been tested here. These results suggest that various factors may be driving decisions to choose to use certain media, which may accord or be at odds with factors affecting youth responses to particular media content domains. We contend that unpacking the relationship between choice of and responses to media warrants further study.

There is considerable opportunity to better understand both how Australian youth use and perceive news media, and to understand the intersections between the two. For example, to what extent do older youth see news media as a less credible source of information on drugs because of their higher exposure to news media, and to what extent is that effect correlated with other factors such as prior knowledge of drugs? What types of media sources do youth access within each of the media formats (e.g. tabloid versus broadsheet publications), how are those different media formats used (e.g. skim reading versus in-depth) and how do these different uses of media affect their perceptions of the content they consume? Better understanding of all of these will help in future research with young people, and with exploring the ways in which news media audiences can be built or maintained into the future.

Conclusion

Youth are savvy media consumers, making active choices about the media they choose to use and responding critically to reporting of issues of pertinence to them, demonstrated here through the example of media reporting on illicit drugs. The onus is now upon researchers to continue to explore this under-developed field of knowledge, in order to understand more deeply the multifarious factors affecting young people's choice of and responses to the media they so voraciously consume.

Acknowledgments

This work has arisen out of a project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, under the National Psychostimulant Initiative. The Drug Policy Modelling Program is funded by the Colonial Foundation Trust. We would also like to thank Francis Matthew-Simmons and Paul Dillon for their contributions to the wider project from which this article arises.

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Kari Lancaster, Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes and Bridget Spicer are researchers with the Drug Policy Modelling Program, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.
Table 1: News media consumption in the last twelve months by source,
sex and age (%)

                             Every day or     Once a week
                             almost every     or more
                             day
TV news          Males
                 Females          53.5           32.2

Radio news *     Males                           38.0
                 Females          35.7           34.6

Newspapers       Males                           42.4
                 Females          22.3           43.2

Street press     Males                           26.5
                 Females           9.3           25.4

Online news      Males                           28.1
                 Females          47.7           28.0

TV news          16-19 yrs                       35.5
                 20-24 yrs        54.8           31.4

Radio news *     16-19 yrs                       40.2
                 20-24 yrs        40.4           32.1

Newspapers *     16-19 yrs                       43.3
                 20-24 yrs        25.4           42.7

Street press *   16-19 yrs                       24.4
                 20-24 yrs        10.1           26.8

Online news      16-19 yrs                       30.8
                 20-24 yrs        55.6           25.8

                             About once a    Every few   Once or twice
                             month           months      a year

TV news          Males            6.7           2.5
                 Females          8.8           3.6           1.2

Radio news *     Males           13.6           7.2           2.5
                 Females         12.8           7.4           4.5

Newspapers       Males           19.4           6.6
                 Females         19.4           7.7           3.9

Street press     Males           27.9          12.8           8.0
                 Females         25.3          16.1           9.7

Online news      Males           11.0           5.6           2.3
                 Females         12.0           5.7           2.5

TV news          16-19 yrs                      3.1           1.3
                 20-24 yrs        8.3           3.3           1.1

Radio news *     16-19 yrs       14.3           8.5
                 20-24 yrs       12.1           6.4           2.9

Newspapers *     16-19 yrs       19.4           7.0           4.7
                 20-24 yrs       19.4           7.5           2.3

Street press *   16-19 yrs       24.5          15.6           8.3
                 20-24 yrs       27.5          14.6           9.8

Online news      16-19 yrs       14.5           7.4           3.3
                 20-24 yrs        9.4           4.2           1.7

                             Never

TV news          Males
                 Females      0.8

Radio news *     Males
                 Females      5.0

Newspapers       Males
                 Females      3.4

Street press     Males
                 Females     14.1

Online news      Males
                 Females      4.1

TV news          16-19 yrs
                 20-24 yrs    1.2

Radio news *     16-19 yrs
                 20-24 yrs    6.1

Newspapers *     16-19 yrs
                 20-24 yrs    2.7

Street press *   16-19 yrs
                 20-24 yrs   11.1

Online news      16-19 yrs
                 20-24 yrs    3.2

* Statistically significant difference, p < 0.05. n=2296.

Table 2: Perceptions of news media reporting on illicit drugs
by sex and age (%)

                                             Agree    Neither agree
                                                       or disagree

The media are a good source      Male         25.1         14.7
of knowledge on illicit          Female       41.6         16.2
drugs *

The media affect my              Male                      13.9
perceptions of illicit drugs *   Female       50.8         17.8

The media tend to exaggerate     Male                      12.9
the dangers of illicit drugs *   Female       50.9         21.8

The media influence the way my   Male                      26.4
friends think about illicit      Female       37.4         30.6
drugs *

I don't trust journalists to     Male                      18.3
tell the truth about illicit     Female       54.1         25.9
drugs *

The media influence what the     Male                      15.8
government does about illicit    Female       68.7         20.3
drugs *

The media are a good source      16-19 yrs                 17.3
of knowledge on illicit          20-24 yrs    34.5         14.5
drugs *

The media affect my              16-19 yrs                 16.6
perceptions of illicit drugs *   20-24 yrs    44.7         16.5

The media tend to exaggerate     16-19 yrs                 17.9
the dangers of illicit drugs     20-24 yrs    57.6         19.8

The media influence the way my   16-19 yrs                 26.5
friends think about illicit      20-24 yrs    36.8         31.5
drugs *

I don't trust journalists to     16-19 yrs                 24.2
tell the truth about illicit     20-24 yrs    57.9         22.8
drugs

The media influence what the     16-19 yrs                 20.7
government does about illicit    20-24 yrs    71.6         17.3
drugs

                                             Disagree

The media are a good source      Male          60.2
of knowledge on illicit          Female        42.2
drugs *

The media affect my              Male          46.1
perceptions of illicit drugs *   Female        31.3

The media tend to exaggerate     Male          14.4
the dangers of illicit drugs *   Female        27.3

The media influence the way my   Male          29.8
friends think about illicit      Female        32.0
drugs *

I don't trust journalists to     Male          12.5
tell the truth about illicit     Female        20.0
drugs *

The media influence what the     Male          10.1
government does about illicit    Female        11.0
drugs *

The media are a good source      16-19 yrs     44.5
of knowledge on illicit          20-24 yrs     51.0
drugs *

The media affect my              16-19 yrs     32.9
perceptions of illicit drugs *   20-24 yrs     38.7

The media tend to exaggerate     16-19 yrs     23.7
the dangers of illicit drugs     20-24 yrs     22.6

The media influence the way my   16-19 yrs     30.7
friends think about illicit      20-24 yrs     31.7
drugs *

I don't trust journalists to     16-19 yrs     15.4
tell the truth about illicit     20-24 yrs     19.3
drugs

The media influence what the     16-19 yrs
government does about illicit    20-24 yrs     11.1
drugs

* Statistically significant difference, p < 0.05. n=2284.
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Author:Lancaster, Kari; Hughes, Caitlin Elizabeth; Spicer, Bridget
Publication:Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:May 1, 2012
Words:6395
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