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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 14, 2009

News for adolescents: Mission impossible? An evaluation of Flemish television news aimed at teenagers

Heidi Vandebosch, Alexander Dhoest and Hilde Van den Bulck
From the journal


Media companies as well as governments launch initiatives to reverse the decline in news consumption by adolescents. Since 2007, the Flemish government has been funding newscasts for adolescents on two commercial channels, Zoom on VTM and Jam on VT4. In 2008, these programs were evaluated using in-depth interviews with producers, content analysis of 30 episodes of each program, an analysis of the ratings for the first season, and an online survey among 663 adolescents aged 10 to 18. Results indicate that there is a lot of variation within this group, making it hard to please them with a single program. Zoom addresses slightly older adolescents (12–18) with a program closely following the “adult” news, while Jam provides younger adolescents (10–16) with more digestible and entertaining news. Most respondents in the survey liked both programs, among other things because of the strong presence of adolescents on screen. Yet adolescent viewing figures are extremely low, mainly due to the inappropriate place in the schedule.

Published Online: 2009-05-14
Published in Print: 2009-June

© 2009 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin