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The More Things Change...

It’s been 10 years since public radio’s last comprehensive national audience study. In media-years that’s a lifetime; maybe two or three.

Since AUDIENCE 88, information and entertainment options have multiplied exponentially. Cable television puts 60 video channels within remote reach of the average American. Eight-in-10 own a VCR.

No development has been more astonishing than the Internet. Ten years ago it was an obscure conduit for academic research. Today its growth is phenomenal. In fact, since AUDIENCE 98’s data were collected, Internet penetration has doubled. It is such a part of life that it’s changing fundamental social concepts.

But the Internet is just the latest in a continuum of communications technologies that annihilate distance and physical boundaries.

Public radio, through its network news programming, has long been the focus of a "virtually community" and has helped redefine "local" among its audience of self-perceived "global citizens." And radio still dwarfs the Internet in audience reach. While half of all households has a computer, the average American home has seven radios.

The following three AUDIENCE 98 reports consider some effects of changing media on public radio and its listeners.

 

arrow.gif (139 bytes)     The More Things Change...
      A Question of Place
navblue.jpg (647 bytes) transpxl.gif (67 bytes) It Ain't Net-cessarily So
  Listening, More or Less

Audience Research Analysis
Copyright ARA and CPB.  All rights reserved.
Revised: September 01, 2000 12:38 PM.