Research Methods Final Paper
Dr. Jimmy Roux
Radio is Americas past time for entertainment whether it is listening to
music or pure talk radio. People are saying that radio isn’t being listened to anymore,
and will not be around during the future. It is being said by listeners that watching a
live television broadcast is easier to watch rather than listening for something with
I am trying to figure out if college students still listen to the radio whether its
on their way to school, work or at home on the Internet. I want to know if males or
females, and the age group they would fall in prefer radio entertainment to another
type of media.
I handed out surveys to random communication classes and asked various
questions about listening to the radio. I than ran a few statistical tests to see if there
was any significance for my findings.
Today’s Media and Its Effects on Radio
In today’s society radio still remains at the top of the charts for many music
and talk listeners. The trouble is that as our society grows and moves on technology
starts getting in the way of radios success. With today’s introduction of satellite
radio listeners are given more options for information and entertainment. Those
who listen to satellite radio can listen to their stations practically anywhere and
those who listen to FM and AM stations have a few locations to where they can
listen to their favorite station. People still go to their old television to get their
breaking news or information. The battle between radio and television will last till
extinction. Today’s radio still tops television and Internet broadcast stations and
channels. As technology advances there will be more competition for good old radio.
iPods, mp3 devices and Pandora give others different options that are easier to
listen to their favorite music genre or podcast. With all these things giving radio a
difficult and frustrating battle, radio still remains at the top of the charts for
“Respondents seemed to watch television more on weekends than on
weekdays, but more respondents listened to the radio on weekdays than on
weekends. In terms of channel switching, more than half of the respondents
listened to one or two radio channels, compared to only 12% of the
respondents who constantly watched the same number of television
channels. Respondents had a tendency to switch TV channels more
frequently than radio channels due to the ease of using a TV remote
control.”(Lu Hsu, 2007).
This study showed that radio compared to television is an extremely tight
battle. Radio dominates the weekdays where television dominates the weekends. In
the case of changing television channels and radio channels, the television wins
because of the remote control. This shows how lazy our society has become as
technology advances. Our society is turning into one that wants to try to be stress
free all of the time.
Radio in today’s society is listened to more in the morning and early
afternoon where a traveler has a commute home. Television is viewed during
primetime hours where someone visually is giving a viewer the news and
“For intensive TV watchers in the third cluster, the scores were relatively
higher than the corresponding scores in other clusters, indicating stronger
positive attitudes toward the information provided in TV advertising.
Respondents in the second cluster spent relatively more time listening to
radio. The negative scores revealed that respondents in the second cluster
had a more positive attitude toward radio advertising.” (Pg. 3, Lu Hsu, 2007).
Lu Hsu (2007) found that television information and entertainment was
being given to the younger generations who enjoy all technology and are in front of
a television rather than a radio besides in the car. Information and entertainment
being provided through a radio source was being provided to consumers of the
older male generation. These individuals were brought up with radio as the only
source for entertainment and information. Radio and television are both perceived
differently, but both provide a unique way to send information and entertainment to
listeners and viewers.
Seeger (2009) found that during times of crisis, the radio is in the public’s
interest. The radio gives the listener the information in the quickest most effective
way. For example, September 11th, the news of such a tragic event was first reported
to our country through the radio. All a radio reporter had to do was press an on-air
button and the quick breaking news is delivered. Television stations needed visual
representation to follow the breaking story. Radio is efficient and timely where
television may be efficient; it lacks the ability to get the news out to the public
immediately. As the future rolls on there are more and more quicker ways to get in
contact with the world.
“These technologies range from the most common place and affordable, such
as television and radio, to newer technologies, such as mobile telephones.
Portable digital phones are now capable of searching the Internet, displaying
cable television news channels, sending and receiving text messages, and
standard voice communication. Not surprising, with this array of options
people tend to scatter among news outlets during times of crisis.” (Pg. 22,
The PEW Research Center, 2000).
Even though technology is evolving and becoming more powerful, radio and
television remain very important to our society in times of crisis. When people are
away from their homes, they will turn to the radio during the rest of the day they are
away from a television.
Seeger (2009) did a study that proves terrestrial radio plays a critical role in
crisis response. Radio has a huge advantage as a strong source of media with the
flexibility necessary to quickly accommodate the uncertainty and emergent needs
created by a crisis.
Radio was considered as the Golden Age of news and entertainment. It was at
one point in time where radio was the king of all kings. Radio was the answer to our
societies prayers and worries. People may not think that this is true today, but radio,
that gives our society quick and efficient news and entertainment, will never die.
“One of the earliest radio compilation recordings began with an announcer
booming out that phrase. He wasn't talking about Lady Gaga radio. Or Justin
Bieber radio. Or even Rush Limbaugh radio. He was talking about the Golden
Age of radio, the first communications medium that brought entertainment
and information--drama, comedy, music, news, and plenty more--right off the
stages, out of the newsrooms, and into the comfort and intimacy of your own
living room. It's a concept so far removed from radio as we know it today
that it might as well have existed in a different universe.” (Pg. 10, Johnson,
Hampp (2010) came to the conclusion that radio’s audience is still growing
even today. The percentage of listeners of radio was a huge 88% of adults. That
study didn’t include the use of iPods or iPhones. But those who use those devices
hook them up to a car stereo only made up 27% of the country’s population. That
being said, even though we as a society think radio is being taken over by
technology increases, we are not.
Internet radio is becoming very popular with today’s day in age. This gives
listeners alternatives to how they receive the news from a radio source.
“The growth is thanks in part to developments like Apple's acquisition of
Lala; News Corp.'s purchase of iLike.com and Imeem; and the continued
growth of leading radio site Pandora, as well as Clear Channel's iHeartRadio
and CBS Radio's Last.FM. Yahoo Music and News Corp.'s MySpace Music are
also considered big online radio players, while satellite company Sirius XM
has made an increased investment in online offerings to paying subscribers.
Pandora is still the largest player in the space, recently surpassing the 60
million registered user mark in July due to the continued success of its
mobile app as well as its linear ad-supported site.”(Pg. 11, Hampp, 2010).
This just shows that when people think of radio they think of listening to
stations in an automobile or a household radio device. They tend to forget in studies
that radio has expanded to the Internet, giving listeners the same quick information,
but just at a different location.
“Radio is a different kind of experience, and I’m not saying it’s not changing
or becoming increasingly fragmented. It is but not in such a way that
anyone’s beat it. The reality is that we’ve got a megaphone that connects with
and talks with people in a very intimate way,” says Granger. “And so even if
the shape of the megaphone changes, the relationship between an influential
figure and their loyal audience is never going to end.” (Pg. 4, Cauley, 2010).
This quote from the article suggests that radio is one of a kind with our
society. It just can’t be beat. Television puts up a good fight for competition, but it
has expanded so much that it has taken over many different locations such as the
World Wide Web. Listeners have a wide selection of choices on where he or she
wants to hear the radio. They don’t have to be glued to a television screen, they have
options, and our society today as studied loves having options that can
accommodate to the viewer or listener.
Localism is defined as a particular specific place for a certain individual.
There are different radio stations in different areas that people listen to. Yes it is all
the same general news, but it is just being delivered slightly different from station to
“While most respondents named group-owned stations as those to which
they listened most frequently, there was a relationship between their
perceiving radio personalities as local and their preference for the station.”
(Pg. 12, Hubbard, 2010).
People will have a favorite, that’s just how our society and culture has
evolved. Listeners pick a station and stick with it. That will be the station they will
always rely on to get breaking information, news and entertainment. Radio
personalities are something that television will never have. Having the ability to
hear or recognize a voice is important to a listener. It’s a person who they trust for
his or her entertainment.
“It appears that what people find appealing about localism is its reliability
(Harmon, 1997), and voice-tracking done well is relatable in much the same
way as real local programming.”(Pg. 14, Hubbard, 2010).
Today ordinary people can now create programs for audio pieces without
having a license or tower. You can’t just do that with television. Radio is being
helped by the podcast industry because they are giving radio station podcasts for
listeners to subscribe to.
“Most podcasters work for free. Maybe a few of them will come up with a way
to make a living doing it. Maybe not. Regardless, a trend is afoot that could
transform the $21 billion radio industry.” (Pg. 4, Green, 2005).
This opens many doors for radio listeners. Radio started to fade away once
television came into our lives, but the competition is still there with the creation of
podcasts that can be downloaded to iPods and iPhones. That is just one more way to
listen to a radio station. Television can’t top that.
One hundred anonymous surveys asking questions about if students still listen to
the radio will be distributed to a junior-level public relations class at a private liberal arts
college in Virginia. The junior-level public relations class was chosen because it is a
communications course with a convenient sample of students having a variety of majors
and classifications. There will be eleven, 15 point liker t-type questions ranging from “1”
meaning “always”: and “5” meaning “rarely”. A sample question is “I listen to the radio
on my way to school”. Data from the surveys will be averaged and separated according
to independent variable of sex and classification. Unusable surveys will include those
surveys that are incomplete and/or if the researcher determines that the participants
did not take the survey seriously.
After running a few tests, I have come to a few conclusions of why college
students don’t listen to the radio as much as they used to growing up. Television
today is grabbing viewer’s attentions as well as the Internet in a quicker more
efficient way then ever before. I have come to the biggest conclusion, which is that in
today’s society females listen to the radio more than men. This came as a shock
because it seemed that things would be a little more equal, but there was such a
great significance differentiating the two.
The results with the greatest significance were that college students listen to
the radio on the way to school and on the Internet more than any other medium.
The gender that had the greatest mean was the females. Females seem to be the
ones only listening to public or satellite radio.
The males were a little different in the results. Males would prefer to listen to
their iPods and get their entertainment from television shows and news broadcasts.
A question that was asked was do you listen to the radio on your way to work or
school. Students responding saying either very little, rarely, or I just plug my mp3
adapter into my cars interface.
Cauley, Patrick, Initials. (2010). Radio revolution. Response, 19(3), 36-40.
Green, Heather, Initials. (2005). The new radio revolution. BusinessWeek, 4(3924), 32-
Hampp, Andrew, Initials. (2010). Who listens to radio. Advertising Age, 81(34), 50.
Hubbard, Glenn, Initials. (2010). Radio localism to the test. Journalism of Broadcasting,
Johnson, Donald, Initials. (2010). Remembering radio. Collecting Magazine, 19115(9),
Lu Hsu, (2007). Who is listening to radio? Social Behavior and Personality, 35(2), 157.
Seeger, Matthew, Initials. (2009). Radio and its unique role. Journal of Radio, 16(2),
RQ: How Has Today’s Media Affected Radio?