Media and Technology Stats and Studies – April 8, 2013

The Utah Legislature has appropriated $10 million to prepare Utah students for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers.  Hispanics are, by a substantial margin, the most populous minority group in Utah, comprising 13.2% of the state’s population (376,889 persons), compared to Asian and multiracial persons (2.2% each), American Indians (1.5%), and Blacks (1.3%). According to a 2011 ACT report, just 30% of Hispanics nationwide met benchmark high school mathematics requirements for taking the ACT exam, compared to 71% of Asian, 54% of White, 36% of Pacific Islander, 25% of American Indian, and 14% of African American students.

The New York Times reported on several new youth computing programs designed to close the gender gap in the high tech sector. According to the Times, 74% of girls in middle school express an interest in engineering, science, and math. However, once they arrive on college campuses, just .3% end up choosing a computer science major. One program, Girls Who Code, goes beyond teaching basic computer skills and trains girls in computer programming, public speaking, product development, and other higher-level, in-demand tech sector skills.

Nielsen report found that the amount of time viewers spend watching TV correlates with their educational attainment and income. Those with a 4-year college degree watch an average of 1 hour and 14 minutes of primetime television, compared to 2 hours and 8 minutes per day for those with just a high school diploma. Income levels also correlate in similar ways with daytime TV viewership. However, primetime TV viewing did not differ substantially between those making $100,000 or more per year (1 hour and 52 minutes per day) and those making $30,000 or less (1 hour and 58 minutes per day). People of color, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, are disproportionately more likely to have lower levels of educational attainment and income compared to their White and Asian American counterparts. Many studies have shown minorities continue to be underrepresented in traditional media as compared to their share of the overall population. The Nielsen data suggest the under-representation of people of color in the media may also be disproportionate in relation to the amount of TV they watch, as compared to Caucasians.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded $444,222 to five PBS stations to test PBS’s new ‘Ready to Learn‘ math- and literacy-based educational programming targeting low-income and at-risk children.

An American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology study found that the outcome of elections could be altered by manipulating search engine rankings without people being aware of it.

Children who watch more than 3 hours of TV, videos, or DVDs per day have a higher likelihood of developing conduct and emotional problems by age 7, according to a Millennium Cohort study of 11,000 children. However, children who played age-appropriate video games for the same amount of time did not display such behaviors.

An AT&T study found a higher prevalence of adults who admit to texting while driving (49%) compared to 43% of teens.

The FCC adopted the form and content of the survey it will use to determine the minimum rate carriers charge for providing fixed residential voice and broadband in urban areas. The survey data will be used to help the FCC determine the amount providers should receive in federal, Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation (USF/ICC) subsidies for providing broadband and voice service in remote and underserved areas.

The pirating of TV content cost cable and broadcast networks at least $1.5 billion in revenues in 2012, according to TorrentFreak. The top 5 most pirated shows include HBO’s Game of Thrones (4.3 million illegal downloads), followed by Showtime’s Dexter  (3.9 million), CBS’ Big Bang Theory (3.2 million) and How I Met Your Mother (3 million), and AMC’s Breaking Bad (2.58 million). Unauthorized downloads of these 5 shows alone accounted for an estimated $851.1 million in lost revenues.

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