Study on Understanding Our Young Generation

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Use of the Internet and traditional media among young people Keywords: youth; media use; Internet; television; magazines

Kara Chan*
Professor
Department of Communication Studies
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Fax: (852) 3411-7890
Telephone: (852) 3411-7836
E-mail: karachan@hkbu.edu.hk

Wei Fang
M.Phil. graduate
Department of Communication Studies
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Fax: (852) 3411-7890
Telephone: (852) 3411-5160
E-mail: 05446422@hkbu.edu.hk

Chan, K. and Fang, W. (2007) Use of Internet and traditional media among young people, Young Consumers, 8(4), 244-256.

*Corresponding author

August 16, 2007
YC new media

Acknowledgement: The work described in this paper was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the Hong Kong Baptist University (Project No. FRG/04-05/II-45)

Use of the Internet and traditional media among young people Research Paper

Abstract

Purpose —The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of traditional media as well as the Internet among young people in Hong Kong. With the fast development of the Internet, the use of interpersonal as well as computer mediated communication has changed greatly. A study of how young people use traditional and new media is crucial as it enables commercial and social marketers to fully understand the role of mass mediated messages in the lives of youth. As the youth market expands and consumption power increases, marketers need to capture the latest trends in order to reach the young generation.

Design/methodology/approach —A survey of 405 Chinese persons aged 15 to 24 in Hong Kong was conducted in February 2006 using a self-administered questionnaire. Undergraduate students distributed and collected these questionnaires through face-to-face interactions.

Findings —The Internet plays a prominent role among the young people in Hong Kong. A majority of respondents aged 15 to 24 spent one to three hours per day in the Internet. The main reasons for Internet usage were for listening to music and for fun. The Internet was the preferred media choice for information driven activities. Magazines retained importance for entertainment and shopping activities while the television retained importance for news and current affairs. Most of the respondents found useful websites through search engines. Interpersonal information sources gave way to the Internet for obtaining information about sensitive issues.

Research limitations/implications —The participants mostly came from the lower middle class families and they may incline to project good images about people without many possessions.

Practical implications —The 21st century is a digital age. Marketers should face this challenge. They should take an active role in building their online communication platforms. Social services marketers targeting young consumers should establish a strong presence in the Internet.

Originality/value—This paper offers an updated map of the Hong Kong young people’s media usage, especially the use of Internet. It provides guidelines for marketers to reach them in a cost effective manner.

Keywords: youth; media use; Internet; television; magazines
About the authors

Biography of author

Dr. Kara Chan is Professor at the Department of Communication Studies at the Hong Kong Baptist University where she teaches courses in advertising. She worked in advertising and public relations profession and as a statistician for the Hong Kong Government. She is the author of over 40 articles and book chapters on advertising and consumer behavior in Hong Kong and China. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Bradley University, Illinois for 1999 to 2000. She co-author Advertising to children in China (Chinese University Press, 2004) with Professor James and is the editor of Advertising and Hong Kong Society (Chinese University Press, 2006). Kara Chan is the corresponding author and can be contacted...
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