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Published: Saturday, 2/27/2010

BGSU professors look at area's use of all kinds of media


Northwest Ohioans are big boosters of DTV, with 70 percent reporting ownership of a digital television, while 48 percent said they still own at least one analog set.

Area residents are quite likely to own a DVD player — 85 percent — but only 25 percent own a DVR. And while 60 percent of northwest Ohioans say they subscribe to a newspaper, only 9 percent of college students say they do.

Those are some of the results of a recent northwest Ohio media study conducted by two telecommunications professors at Bowling Green State University. The study is a combination mail and Web survey of randomly selected residents in northwest Ohio and BGSU students conducted from October to December.

The survey is the first of a three-year study profiling media use of area residents. The survey yielded 688 responses: 329 from northwest Ohio residents, and 359 from BGSU students. The Blade cosponsored the study.

Louisa Ha, one of the BGSU professors spearheading the research, said she was most surprised by the large number of local people who have adopted digital television.

“I didn't expect a high penetration,” she said. “I was surprised so many people already had digital TV sets” when they only needed to buy digital conversion boxes.

In terms of media use, the study found, BGSU students spend less time watching TV news than northwest Ohio residents, an average of two hours a week compared to five. The students have embraced online as their primary news media, spending four hours a week on non-newspaper Web sites, and eight hours a week on social-networking sites for news.

Nearly 100 percent of the BGSU students surveyed said they own a cell phone. The students said they spend an average of 16.8 hours a week text-messaging. In contrast, area residents spend only 4.5 hours a week text-messaging.

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