The More Things Change...
Its been 10 years since public radios last comprehensive national audience study. In media-years thats 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 98s data were collected, Internet penetration has doubled. It is such a part of life that its 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.
Audience Research Analysis
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Revised: September 01, 2000 12:38 PM.