Old Media Teens: German Youth Reading More Print Media and Books

A new study about adolescents in Germany finds reading on the rise, with 42% of teens polled saying they read a daily paper. Still, while e-books have yet to break through, Internet consumption dominates overall.

Old Media Teens: German Youth Reading More Print Media and Books


MANNHEIM - "The Internet is crushing all other media…" That or something similar is the operative assumption as most experts look at the future of television, radio, books and newspapers.

But that conventional wisdom is upended by the latest edition of an annual study just presented in Mannheim by pedagogical media research center Südwest. Young people avail themselves of all media, the study says. In fact, reading newspapers and books right now is ‘in."

Some 1,200 subjects aged 12 to 19 years of age participated in the study called "im-Studie 2011 "Jugend, Information, (Multi)Media." Results show that 44% are regular readers – up from 38% in 1998. Girls read more books than boys. Surprisingly, e-books played virtually no role, with only 1% saying they read them. Roughly 42% of participants said they read a daily paper, with 18% reading an online edition. Asked about credibility of sources, daily papers came in first, followed by television, radio and only then the Internet.

However, the Internet was by far and away the most frequently used medium – 89% said they used it daily or several times a week. Participants said they spent more than two hours a day online (virtually the same as in 2010) and also watched TV on average for 113 minutes. And 78% (up from 74% in 2010) said they listened to the radio regularly.

The Internet was mainly used by the young people for communication, particular via social networks: 78% are members of social media sites, the most popular of which is Facebook. Use of Facebook nearly doubled to 78% over the previous year. The previous favorite, SchülerVZ, a German site for school kids, was only used by 29% of participants.

According to the researchers, one positive sign was that more and more youngsters are wary of giving out too much information about themselves on social media. Four-fifths have limited the availability of their data to friends only. And finally, the average number of social media "friends' is 206.

Read the original article in full in German

Photo - Time.Captured.

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Dutch Cities Have Been Secretly Probing Mosques Since 2013

Revelations of a nationally funded clandestine operation within 10 municipalities in the Netherlands to keep tabs on mosques and Muslim organizations after a rise in radicalization eight years ago.

The Nasser mosque in Veenendaal, one of the mosques reportedly surveilled

Meike Eijsberg

At least ten Dutch towns and cities have secretly used a private agency to probe mosques and other local religious organizations, Amsterdam-based daily het NRC reports in an exclusive investigation.

The clandestine operation — funded by NCTV, the National Security Services, the Netherlands' leading counter-terrorism agency — was prompted by the social unrest and uncertainty following multiple terror attacks in 2013, and a rise in Islamic radicalization.

The NCTV, which advises and financially supports municipalities in countering radicalization, put the municipalities in touch with Nuance by Training and Advice (Nuance door Trainingen en Advies, NTA), a private research agency based in Deventer, Netherlands. Among the institutions targeted by the investigations, which came at a cost of circa 500,000 euros, were the Al Mouahidin mosque in the central Dutch town of Ede, and the Nasser mosque east of the city of Utrecht, according to NRC.

Photo of people standing on prayer mats inside a Dutch mosque

Praying inside a Dutch mosque.


Broken trust in Islamic community

Unlike public officials, the private agency can enter the mosques to clandestinely research the situation. In this case, the agents observed activity, talk to visitors, administrators, and religious leaders, and investigated what they do and say on social media.

All findings then wound up in a secret report which includes personal details about what the administrators and teachers studied, who their relatives are, with whom they argued, and how often they had contact with authorities in foreign countries, like Morocco.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed.

It is unclear whether the practice is legal, which is why several members of the Dutch Parliament are now demanding clarification from the outgoing Minister of Justice and Security, Ferd Grapperhaus, who is said to be involved.

"The ease with which the government violates (fundamental) rights when it comes to Islam or Muslims is shocking," Stephan van Baarle, member of the leftist party DENK, told De Volkskrant, another Dutch newspaper.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed. Hassan Saidi, director of one of the mosques investigated, said that the relationship with the local municipality had been good. "This puts a huge dent in the trust I'd had in the municipality," he told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

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