The IZI's empirical research
Current empirical IZI research
Children's quality criteria
What characterises a good children's film/programme considering
children's own qualitative evaluation?
The term "quality" appears repeatedly in connection with
children's films and with television for children. Thereby the definition
of quality quite often merely mirrors the term professionalism which
includes aspects of film production (plot, equipment, editing, music
etc.). Arguments regarding content which stand for quality are only
marginally mentioned. One of those arguments is to keep the representation
as close to children's reality as possible.
Children between local and global
What chances and possibilities does PRIX JEUNESSE offer to children?
The media play a crucial role in the process of globalisation. Not
only do they initiate certain processes, they also are affected
by globalisation themselves. Over the past years it was possible
to observe the vertical integration at all levels of production
and a horizontal joining of forces of different media branches from
several countries (Büttner et al. 2000, p. 21). A wave of merging
and buying up of companies took place which led to the creation
of a global oligopoly on the media market today (McChesney 2002,
Information and documentary programmes for children
In children's television scheduling, entertainment and fiction are
the most ubiquitous genres. Conversely, parents/educators try to
encourage the consumption of non-fiction genres such as documentaries
but report that these types of programmes are less attractive to
with young people and for young people
A study of the IZI in co-operation with the Bundeszentrale für
Politische Bildung and Medienforschung Bayerischer Rundfunk/ Intendanz
Young people rarely watch information programmes on (public) television.
Studies suggest that this is mainly a result of the form of these
presentations, and the missing perspectives of young people. In
this respect, it should be a primary concern of broadcasting companies
to incorporate young people more into the design of programmes.
Current research results
Children watching war
Children's perspective on war in Iraq and television coverage
For weeks it has been in the media: the war in Iraq. bombardments,
wounded and dead people can be seen in the news. Children have their
own perspective towards these things. They have concerns and questions.
They need information, but also have the wish to announce their
view of the things and their emotions.
A current study by the IZI in co-operation with international researchers
is investigating in what ways this children's perspective is characterised
and the ways children's television is dealing with this topic. more
are children laughing about? (2002-2003)
This is a cooperative project about the understanding of children's
humour, explicitly taking television into account.Children love
to laugh and laugh a lot, and presumably laughing while watching
television is widespread. However, in international research the
question about what children are laughing about and, in particular,
what aspects of a television programme they find funny, has not
yet been sufficiently investigated. This is where the IZI starts
and co-operates with different media researchers and communication
Ball Z - the fascination of violence
Dragon Ball Z - between strong self-images and heightened readiness
to resort to aggression
At the end of 1998, RTL2 launched an animation called Dragon Ball
based on the successful manga. In addition, since August 2001 Dragon
Ball Z is broadcast as part of a pre-primetime programme. more...
on the press coverage of children's and youth television (2002)
In this study, press coverage of the topic 'children's and youth
television' is analysed. Articles published within the last five
years on the topics of "children and television" and "young
people and television" are evaluated by means of content analysis.
The quantitative content analysis focuses on: perspectives and lines
of argument that journalists employ to discuss children's/youth
television; on the roles they attribute to children, parents and
producers; and on characteristic slogans. In a second analysis,
reviews of some children's and youth programme styles in the year
2001 are surveyed and compared to "viewing rates". The
press coverage of single programme titles is in the centre of this
content analysis. more
and youth television between public discussion, market and everyday
Press coverage on the topics children's and youth television is
researched. Articles from the last 5 years about 'children and television'
and 'youth and television' are evaluated content-analytically. The
focal points of such quantitative content analyses, amongst others,
are an analysis of points of view and ways of argumentation with
which journalists approach the topic of children's/youth television,
which roles they assign to children, parents, producers and which
slogans they are typically using. more
fantasies - children's television (2001/2002)
In this current research project we investigate the fantasies of
8- to 9-year-old children. What kind of wishes do these children
have? What, who and how would they like to be and which motives
do they use? The study will be conducted as a cross-cultural comparison
and as comparison of generations. more...
reception of soap operas in
children's and adolescents' everyday life
The phenomenon that children not only watch children's programmes
but are also extremely fond of Daily Soaps is well known, but the
background has hardly been researched in Germany - an interesting
aspect currently being developed in a new IZI-Project. more...
television from a parental point of view
Conclusions from the results of a survey among parents conducted
with several online-panels in April 2001
Television has been an issue in families with children for a long
time. When children discover television, conflicts soon develop.
Especially with younger children, in everyday life, parents encounter
their kid's manifold resistance to their ideas of quality and to
strict rules for watching TV. Television has therefore become the
number one discussion topic between parents and their children and
ranks two on the list of argument topics, right after discussions
about going to bed. more...
are children dealing with Schloss Einstein?
How do children deal with Schloss Einstein?
In the frame of the study "The significance of soap operas
in everyday life of children and youth" a partial study was
carried out concerning the children's weekly Schloss Einstein (The
Einstein Castle). The series was discussed during group discussions
with 392 elementary school children, while 40 frequent Schloss Einstein
viewers were interrogated in individual interviews. From this empirical
material a qualitative statement can be framed regarding what children
like about Schloss Einstein, what it means to them on a more than
superficial level and the ways in which this programme is being
discussed in peer group and families. more...
and exclusion: the significance
of Big Brother for children
Big Brother actually is a programme which was primarily aimed at
the younger part of the advertising target group, the 19- to 39-year-olds.
But the ratings showed its enormous success with the adolescents
and the marketing-share is even high among the 6- to 13-year-olds.
Of course, we know that children and pre-teens do not only watch
classic children's television, but also programmes which are not
at first intended for them. However, we have a particular social
responsibility for that younger audience. In order to evaluate the
meaning of Big Brother for children and pre-teens, and to
take positive and problematic moments of reception into consideration,
reception studies are necessary. more...
contemporary review of children's television 2002
This annual survey of children's television aims to provide a report
on the development of children's television in Germany and on children's
viewing habits. Moreover, this project offers multiple empirical
approaches to the analysis of the programme offer with regard to
children's television use.
more (in German)...
fascinates children about Pokémon?
Anyone who currently has anything to do with children will certainly
have come across them, the "pocket monsters". Pokémon
is at present the most popular series among the 6- to 13-year-old
boys and girls. The programme on RTL 2 scores top viewing ratings,
the Gameboy games are found everywhere and school playgrounds at
times resemble a bazaar for Pokémon trading cards.
There are not a few teachers who would like the children to be able
to learn irregular words just as quickly as they can say "Bulbasaur
– Ivysaur– Venussaur" or "Charmander – Cone – Charizard". Pokémania
has proliferated. more...
in children's everyday life (IZI 1999)
Research findings from Germany reflect a world-wide trend: children
have fun with the "Teletubbies" and their parents have problems
with this new programme format. In an analysis of 114 natural
TV-viewing situations of 1- to 6-year-old children we could show
the children’s extraordinary activities while watching "Teletubbies".
248 parents were questioned and they differed widely in views:
some of them loved the series, the others damned it. more...
of directing public attention in children's television market
In the following paper I intend to consider first some aspects
of the initial situation by showing the correlation between market
success and public attention, according to press releases and
parents' opinion. In the second part I will be talking about the
strategies of the bridgeheads of attention control: the press
offices of broadcasting stations. Exemplary programmes will be
considered to clarify the various phenomena. more...
portrayal on children's television – deep-rooted change or stagnation?
Television is a normal part of girls' and boys' everyday life.
Depending on the specific social context, biography and individual
theme, the young people adopt the media and integrate them into
their daily life. In doing so television becomes the material
from which individuals remove certain parts and include them in
their everyday life as boys or girls. Even though the adoption
is highly individual, all in all the programme does have a power
of definition which takes effect especially in the societal construction
of the category of gender. more...