Hamburg, 13.06.2012 Television remains the most important source for political opinion formation according to the findings of a study carried out by the Hans-Bredow-Institut, which has been presented today to the Bundestagsausschuss für Kultur und Medien [Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs of the German Bundestag] in Berlin. The study "Informationsrepertoires der Deutschen [Information Repertoires of Germans] is based on a nation-wide representative survey with about 1000 participants aged 14 or over. The study examined the most important offers for information behaviour from the population's point of view. According to Uwe Hasebrink, director of the Hans-Bredow-Institut,
even in the digital media environments of today established media like television and newspapers play an important role. The Internet has become an important factor for political opinion formation as well. However, it is striking that Google and Facebook are part of such offerings but do not offer any political content themselves. Thus, debates on media diversity and the influence of media on opinion formation have to follow a cross-medial approach.
For more than 40 per cent of the participants, television is the most important source for political opinion formation and for information on world affairs and Germany. Newspapers are the second most important source according to 20 per cent, followed by the radio and the Internet. However, 40 per cent of all respondents said that newspapers are the most important source for information on their own region.
The Internet actually represents the most important information medium for young people aged 14 to 29; but in answer to the concrete question as to the most important sources influencing political opinions, they also cite television programmes most frequently, or respectively, daily newspapers for information on their own region. In all age groups, "Tagesschau" is the most frequently mentioned single offer for political opinion formation, followed by Google and Bild for the overall population. Youth and young adults prefer online services of "Tagesschau" and private news channels as well as Bild; Facebook ranks sixth.
The study was carried out in the scope of the project "Erfassung und Darstellung der Medien- und Meinungsvielfalt in Deutschland [Identifying and Representing the Media and the Diversity of Media in Germany"], as commissioned by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM). A detailed project report in German is available on the website of the Hans-Bredow-Institut. The study is based on telephone interviews that have been carried out by Enigma GfK from 19 May to 3 July 2011, as commissioned by the Hans-Bredow-Institut. A total of 1,007 persons were interviewed on the phone. The sample is representative for German-speaking people aged 14 or over from households with a landline in Germany.