Measuring the television habits of ethnic minorities

Date of publication: May 1, 1994


Canada is a country of immigrants, and official government policy encourages bilingualism (English and French) and multiculturalism. Television services are provided in French and English across the country; cable and traditional over-the-air television stations offer programming in other languages. This presents many challenges for television audience measurement. This paper reviews the methodologies used in three recent studies designed to measure the television viewing of specific linguistic minorities, contrasting them with the procedures normally used for the regular television surveys of the general population conducted by BBM. It then reviews the results of the special studies, using them as benchmarks against which to measure the ability of the regular BBM surveys to measure ethnic minorities. Three questions are addressed: 1. Does the normal BBM survey process recruit the right proportion of members of linguistic minorities? 2. Is the sub-sample of the minority that is normally recruited representative of its population? 3. Does any of this make a difference to the published ratings results for the total population?

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