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Kaiser on role of media in kids' lives

Children between the ages of 8-18 spend 8:31 a day with some form of media, and manage to cram that into 6:21 via multitasking, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Institute. The report is called "Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-olds." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) keynoted the event, which also included FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. The panel also featured Grammy-Award winning Hip-Hopper Common, ex-WB exec Jordan Levin, Electric Arts exec Alain Tascan, and report co-author Donald Roberts of Stanford U. Kaiser's own Victoria Rideout, also a co-author, was also on hand. The third co-author, Juliet Schor of Boston College was unable to attend due to a flight cancellation.

The good news for broadcasters was this: The event was not, as one might have expected, a wall-to-wall exercise in media bashing. Rideout said that they had produced raw numbers; now the task is to interpret those numbers. Is 6:21 good, bad or indifferent? She admitted she did not have an answer to that question.

Here are some of those numbers.

* TV: Use on a typical day: 81%, average time spent 3:04

* Radio: Use on a typical day: 74%, average time spent 0:55

* CD/tape/MP3: Use on a typical day: 68%, average time spent 0:49

* Computer: Use on a typical day: 54%, average time spent 0:14

* Online: Use on a typical day: 47%, average time spent 0:48

* Magazine: Use on a typical day: 47%, average time spent 0:14

* Book: Use on a typical day: 46%, average time spent 0:23

* Video game: Use on a typical day: 41%, average time spent 0:32

* Video/DVD: Use on a typical day: 39%, average time spent 0:32

* Handheld video game: Use on a typical day: 35%, average time spent 0:17

* Newspaper: Use on a typical day: 34%, average time spent 0:06

* Prerecorded TV: Use on a typical day: 21%, average time spent 0:14

* Go to movie: Use on a typical day: 13%, average time spent 0:25

As you can see, as far as use is concerned, TV and radio still fare pretty well. At this age, newspaper hasn't even made a dent. More tomorrow.


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