NEWS29 September 2020

Ofcom announces survey changes

Covid-19 News Public Sector Telecoms UK

UK – Ofcom has made changes to its media literacy surveys after abandoning face-to-face research in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The methodology and questionnaire length of both the annual adults’ and children’s media literacy tracking research surveys have been altered following a consultation held earlier this year.

Previously, fieldwork for the surveys was partly carried out face-to-face through interviews in participants’ homes.

As all face-to-face fieldwork has been suspended by Ofcom due to Covid-19 restrictions, both of the surveys will be carried out by post or online.

The children’s survey will take place in two parts, with the first involving a letter posted to parents of children aged three to 15 and their child, if aged between eight and 15, to each fill out an online survey.

A second survey will then take place separately via an online panel, which will focus on social media, messaging, live-streaming and video-sharing platforms. The surveys will also be significantly reduced in size, with some questions removed.

Ofcom accepted it meant people without internet access would be unable to take part, but would seek to correct this issue in future surveys once deemed safe to do so. It also said it would be unable to compare data to previous years because of the changes.

The adults’ survey will take place online and via post, and will offer both an online survey and a paper version, with online panels if necessary. As with the children’s survey, the questionnaires will also be significantly reduced.

Separately, Ofcom is also consulting on changes to its switching survey, which tracks levels of consumer switching between communications providers.

The regulator said it planned to ask participants to complete the survey online or over the telephone, and questions would also be revised, and in some cases new questions would be added.

The deadline for feedback on the proposed changes is Monday 12th October.