Over the past three months I have been studying children’s television programmes to find out about what influences they have over children’s behaviour, the types of shows that are on offer and why children opt to watch them. I picked three key questions based on what I thought would get the best reactions and results and the most frequently asked problems such as the amount of violence children see on TV.
I used various different methods of searching for information which included surfing the Internet, emailing relevant people, setting up focus groups and interviewing people who have an appropriate opinion on this subject, e. g. parents. I broke my research up into three categories, primary, secondary and tertiary this allowed me to organise myself and also to get opinions as well as facts. My primary research consisted of interviewing people such as parents to find out their opinions on certain aspects of this subject.
I have planned to interview a media teacher who is also a parent because she will have factual information and first hand experience. My second interviewee will be a single father of four young children, each child is in one of my aimed target groups so this will help when finding out why his children chose to watch what they do and why they enjoy it. I will also visit schools to interview children, first hand about their opinions on certain programmes and find out why they watch them. This will be very helpful when answering my second key question.
To gather more information I will be conducting a set of focus groups, each will consists of five to six people who I will be directing questions at for them to discuss among themselves. I will be recording the discussion so I can referee to it later on, this will allow me to use quotes and pick out relevant information. I have produced a questionnaire that consists of 15 questions that I will be handing out to members of each of my focus groups. This is also part of my primary research and allows me to refer back and can be used as evidence when trying to make a point for one of my key questions.
The only piece of primary research I have conducted thus far is to try and contact some of the industries producers and writers to find out some factual information about different shows. Whilst searching the Internet I located the BBC website, www. BBC. co. uk this was a big help as I found a link to the teletubbies website which then led me to find one of the writers email addresses. I emailed Will Brenton with an explanation of what I hoped to achieve from his knowledge and set him a few simple questions, I have yet to receive a reply but do frequently check my email.
I am also hoping to get in contact with a producer or director for the BBC to find out about scheduling, I have yet to find the relevant address. My secondary research consisted mostly of searching through countless amounts of websites to try and pick out related information, I found this extremely frustrating as I had to search for hours at a time to find anything that would help me. I made a list of which websites were useful and visited them regularly for updates; www. turnoffyourtv. com, www. limittv. org and www. familyresources. com/parenting.
Once I had collected enough information I began sifting through it and highlighting the most interesting parts. Whilst looking on the Internet I managed to determine what shows were on offer and which were the most popular, from this I chose three main programmes to focus on, all of which were aimed at different ages but for both sexes. Another reason why I chose them was because they had received the best ratings over any other TV show for the same age group and were also on the same channel, this made it easier to access information.