Monday, November 21, 2005

A question of perception and value

From Digital
Video may have killed the radio star, but the Internet hasn’t yet killed the paperback hero according to a new study by the Canadian Internet Project (CIP).

While many believe the growth of the Internet will eventually relegate hard-copy media to the recycling bin, it turns out Internet users put more value on traditional sources of media than non-users do.

The study says Internet users are more apt to place importance on magazines, newspapers, radio and books as reliable and valuable sources of information. Non-users, however, place more importance on TV than Internet users do.

What has surprised many analysts is that the survey results, published November 2, revealed Internet users still spend a significant amount of time perusing offline sources of info, and use the Internet to supplement media they already enjoy.

The study found that 72 per cent of Canadians use the Internet, the average user spending 13.5 hours online each week. Email is the most popular reason for using the Net, though most users have made purchases online as well. CIP says usage will only expand.

“The emergence of new Internet-based digital content and distribution channels is influencing social, political, cultural and economic behaviour and ideas everywhere,” says Professor Charles Zamaria, co-director of CIP and Radio and Television Arts professor at Ryerson University. “We believe that by studying the Internet and other emerging technologies as they develop over time, we can better understand their implications for society.”

The study surveyed 3,014 Canadians aged 18 and up, who answered questions via telephone in May and June 2004. The study is the first to come out of Canada, and is part of the World Internet Project which involves more than 25 countries. It is part of a series and will be conducted in Canada every other year. The study is representative and has a margin of error of 1.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.


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