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Comunicar Journal 25: Quality Television (Vol. 13 - 2005)

What the children of the world demand from television. Comparative International Research between 6 countries


Tatiana Merlo-Flores


This field research aims to understand the way in which the children of the world relate to television and what they expect from it, that is how they wish it to be in the future. One of the distinctive characteristics of this research is that there is no adult interference or mediation, the children respond directly to the television, which ensures that the replies are real life stories filled with emotion and imagination. The successive analysis of the material collected (more than 15.000 letters and drawings form all the countries), allow us to distinguish different levels of interpretation: on the one hand, all the elements that are common to all children regardless of cultural, geographical or economic differences of the context and on the other hand, the specific characterization of the demands on television related to region, country and geographical areas within each country. The globalization vs. localization phenomenon clearly appears in the results of this comparative research work, evident in similar expressions in the replies to many of the enquiries that the researchers have been asking for a long time, but from a perspective that integrates different theories traditionally though of as contradictory. The type of themes, values, what they like, what scares children, where we detect violence, what they would like the content to be, how they wish to participate etc, are just a few of the answers that the children provide us with their letters, drawings and emails. An extremely rigorous cuanti-cualitative method allows us to believe that we have respected what is really happening in the children's world in this time of media and images and that the message they transmit is sufficiently clear and strong as to serve us adults as a guide in the search for quality television.


Children opinion as viewer, future television, projection, expectations

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