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Provocative headlines such as “Americans Are Quitting TV,” designed to catch busy readers’ attention, do not reflect the content of the story and can be misleading if the readers skips the story itself. “Is Social Media Killing TV?” was the headline of an interesting piece on new research indicating that social media may actually cause an increase in TV viewing. How many headlines have pronounced an epidemic of “cord-cutting” only to reveal a very small drop in subscriptions? During a time of rapid change, our understanding of media behavior is more important than ever, but it seems we are becoming less informed. Most troubling are studies and reports that ignore fundamental research values such as sample limitations or statistical significance and interpret very small changes as major trends. Misinformation hurts business. We need better data collection from those inside the industry – and just as important is a more reasoned and responsible approach to reporting that data in the media.
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- Measuring Media Usage Behavior: Improving the Quality of Research and Reports on Consumers’ Use of Media
Ph.D. Horst Stipp
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