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Read the new research on children's media use

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Broadcasting
6 May 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed until 6pm

Read the new research on children's media use in NZ

A new research report on New Zealand children’s media use provides important information for caregivers, educators and broadcasters across all media genres, Broadcasting Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard launched the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) report Seen and Heard: Children’s Media Use in Auckland today. The report is based on a 2007 survey of 600 children aged between 6 and 13, and their primary caregivers. It includes information about the use of newer media such as the internet and cellphones.

"This longitudinal research provides comparisons with studies undertaken in 2001. There are notable differences between the two – including a decrease in parents' awareness that television broadcasts post 8.30pm are not necessarily suitable for children," Trevor Mallard said.

"It is important we understand this 8.30pm cutoff. The need for parental responsibility is increasing as children have access to media forms that are not always subject to regulation. Knowing what our children are accessing and teaching children good safety practices with all forms of media is the only way to ensure they are protected from harmful content.

"I would encourage caregivers, educators and broadcasters across all media genres to read this research. Seen and Heard provides us with real data about what children are actually doing with media, what they like and what they find disturbing, and what their caregivers are doing to control access to it.

"The research will be used to inform the BSA in complaint determinations relating to children's interest issues. It will also input into the BSA's media literacy strategy and assist with the development of the codes that outline the standards which broadcasters comply with.

"It will also be of interest to others who work in this area. For instance, media literacy is already taught in schools at the secondary level. Through the Ministry of Education, government also supports NetSafe, which provides internet safety kits to schools along with web and phone support," Trevor Mallard said.

Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage are managing complementary research, assessing the way adult New Zealanders use the media.

The report is available at www.bsa.govt.nz. See also Trevor Mallard's speech to the launch of this research at www.beehive.govt.nz/mallard


ENDS

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