ERIC Number: ED230968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Television Audience Erosion to Cable: To What Effect?
Larson, Mark A.
A study investigated the extent to which cable television diverts audiences from local television news programs, and whether such diversion decreases community involvement and political participation. Of a random sample of 300 adults selected for interviewing from a northern California county telephone directory, 53% reported having cable television. The 136 cable viewers were then asked in multiple response questions which news programs they watched. All respondents were asked to rate their interest in local issues, how informed they were on local issues, their interest in local politics, how often they voted in local elections, their level of community involvement, whether they volunteered in local activities, and the number of community organizations to which they belonged. Twenty-two percent of cable subscribers watched only distant-signal local news programs, 50% watched only local station news programs, and 27% watched both. Results supported the view that cable systems are contributing to the emergence of segmented audiences and a falloff in network audience shares. However, they did not provide much supporting evidence for the link between diversion from local news programs and less community involvement and local political participation. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Analysis; Media Role
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).