DW Akademie‘s new study summarizes the state of the art regarding audience research in media development. It tests innovative methods in three case studies, providing inspiration for research, monitoring, and evaluation.
The three case studies presented in the publication "Audience Research in Media Development" are directly related to ongoing DW Akademie media development projects. The first case study addresses the measurement of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) of young media users aged 12 to 16 years in the Palestinian Territories (West Bank). The second focuses on the impact of radio broadcasts on women and land rights (station: Nam Lolwe) in Kenya. It was designed as a quasi-experiment, comparing listeners of the radio stations to potential listeners and non-listeners. The third study examines the social media strategies of two community radio stations (Granada Stereo and Contacto 10) in Colombia. It uses focus groups, a survey, and digital analytics methods. Results and lessons learned of all three case studies are presented in the publication.
Research of media audiences has long been on the agendas of stations and publishers alike, eager to find out more about their reach as well as the wants and the needs of their target groups. Though audience research has also been part of the toolbox of media development organizations for some time, it was only when focus in international development shifted from producing outputs to effecting impact that research of media viewing, listening and reading gained the importance for media development it has today. DW Akademie itself is in the process of enlarging its monitoring and evaluation toolbox by applying taylor-made audience research approaches to its work. The authors of this publication look forward to discussing their methods and results with other media development actors.