Every year, Nordicom at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden takes a barometer reading of media use in Sweden. Media Barometer data were first collected in 1979. These are some of the findings of the 2010 survey.
Among 15- to 24-year-olds eight in ten use social media the average day, 15 per cent more than in 2009. An even sharper increase - from 32 to 49 per cent - is noted among 25- to 44-year-olds. The time people in these younger ages devote to the media overall has rested at about 6.5 hours a day over the past few years, but within these hours media habits have changed. In 2010, internet claimed 40 per cent of this time, up from 34 per cent one year earlier. In all other age groups, television viewing still dominates (children and people older than 44 years).
Media habits have changed the most among elder teens and young adults (ages 15-44). The greatest impacts that may be attributed to increased use of internet are on radio listening and reading of magazines and books among young people (15-24), but on reading of newspapers among those aged 25-44. The share of newspaper subscribers among this latter group has fallen by 16 percentage points in the past decade, compared to a decline of 7 points among the population as a whole.
Use of traditional media – newspapers, television and radio – on the web has steadily increased, but the rise last year was relatively slight: 28 per cent of the population visited the websites of traditional media the average day in 2010. Those aged 25-44 were the most frequent users. The tabloid press is the only category that may be said to have become fully established on the web in terms of the numbers of users. Roughly one in four in the age group 25-44 years uses no other media besides tabloids on the web.
Six per cent of the population as a whole report watching television on a computer, cell phone or other device; the figure is 10 per cent among youth. The great majority, over 80 per cent, still watch television on an ordinary TV set.
The biggest contrast between men's and women's media habits is the difference noted in reading of books. A similar difference is noted between boys and girls, as well.
"While young men play computer games, young women are reading books for pleasure or blogging. The pattern is in line with the patterns of media use our Barometers have found in these two groups over the years," says Professor Ulla Carlsson, Director of Nordicom.
Forty per cent of Swedish women read books for pleasure the average day, compared to 24 per cent among men. Education is a strong factor with regard to book reading. College- and university-educated individuals tend to read books more, 42 per cent the average day, compared to 22 per cent among those who have no higher education. Book reading as a pastime is about twice as frequent among individuals in senior managerial and academic positions as among people in so-called 'blue-collar" occupations.
About the Swedish Media Barometer survey
Mediebarometern is an annual survey meant to examine how the Swedish population on an average day of a given year use the media; radio, TV, teletext, video/DVD, film, CD, mp3, computer games, morning newspaper, evening newspaper, weekly or monthly magazines and publications, advertisements, as well as media use on the Internet and mobile telephone. The measures focus on 'recency', not 'frequency', i.e., the regularity of media use.
The purpose is to describe tendencies and changes regarding how people use the media. The survey is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of the population between 9 and 79 years old. The sample for 2010 consisted of about 4,700 persons. The first Media Barometer was conducted in 1979, and has been conducted every year since them. NORDICOM at the University of Gothenburg has been responsible for the survey since 1994.
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