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Middletown Media Studies I

In March 2004, this groundbreaking study was published in the International Digital Media & Arts Association Journal, shattering assumptions about media research methodologies, using telephone surveys, self-report diaries and observations to determine how people use media daily.

Various aspects of the study were presented at several national academic conferences and were presented to two national industry conferences. The study was cited by dozens of newspapers, magazines and trade journals and featured on statewide television in Indiana and NPR’s On the Media. TV Week called it the most significant new media research in the last 20 years.

This research examined not only the media habits of a mid-size city in the Midwest, but it also examined disparity in the way that media data are collected.

The study compared diary entries, telephone surveys and direct observation and discovered that people greatly underestimate their media usage time and habits in self-recall surveys and diaries.