Research Ngā Rangahau

The Younger Audience: Children and Broadcasting in New Zealand, 2001


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Date published: 2001

Authors/Research Company: Reece Walters and Wiebe Zwaga/Colmar Brunton


  • Investigates children’s media consumption in household and peer environments
  • Explores children’s attitudes to controls on their media consumption
  • Examines parental attitudes towards the protection of children with respect to broadcast media content


  • Qualitative research, 23 interviews with parents
  • Nationwide telephone survey, 500 parents
  • Nationwide face-to-face survey, 752 children


Children’s Television and Radio Use

Household viewing characterised by number of televisions in a household

  • Multiple television households:
    • experience less conflict in television viewing
    • children unlikely to be supervised in front of the television
    • more permissive as regards the television viewing habits of children
    • parents less proactive in supervising their children’s use of television
  • Influence of television in the lives of children widely acknowledged
  • Radio drew hardly any concerns among parents
  • Children expressed relative maturity in the ways in which they circumvent parental rules to use radio and TV according to their own particular style

Parental Attitudes towards Children’s Radio and Television Use

  • Issues of concern:
    • inability of parents to be physically present at all times
    • children going to bed after the 8:30pm watershed
  • Parents believe television can and does influence children’s behaviour
  • Areas of concern are violence, bad language, the portrayal of sex, anything too graphic or gruesome, and poor moral tone

Children’s Views on their Radio and Television Use

  • Younger children are not active listeners of radio
  • Radio use increases as children get older
  • Significant number of children watch television in the morning on a weekday
  • Children tend to finish watching television earlier on nights before school, and to watch later on

Friday and Saturday nights

  • 40% are regularly viewing after 9:30pm on a Saturday night
  • 50% are viewing after 8:30pm on a Friday night
  • 33% are still viewing at 10:00pm or later on a Saturday night
  • Children tend to watch television either with siblings or by themselves before 6:00pm then parental or adult supervision increases, peaking at 7:00pm
  • “Bedtime” indicates the time children stop watching television
  • The positive aspect of viewing television is perceived to be its entertainment value
  • Violence is the negative perceived aspect of viewing television