University of Sussex and Radio Times partner to launch The Screen Test
By: Alice Ingall
Last updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2023
The University of Sussex, alongside the University of Brighton, is partnering with the UK’s leading authority on television and radio, Radio Times, to launch a ground-breaking research project to explore the role television and radio play in the UK today.
Launched today, Tuesday 30 May 2023, to mark Radio Times’ centenary year, The Screen Test is a large-scale public survey that will examine the role that visual and audio media has in people’s well-being and its wider relevance for society at large.
With streaming services on the rise, and with more choice than ever before, The Screen Test aims to gain an in-depth understanding of one of the nation’s favourite pastimes - why we choose to watch and listen to the things we do, and how they make us feel.
The survey take various factors into account when looking into why we choose to view certain programmes and how we respond to them, including examining participants’ personality, values, and wellbeing.
In an ever-changing media landscape, the research will also explore what the future might hold for TV and radio, and what it might look like in the next 20 years.
Professor Robin Banerjee, Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex and the lead academic on The Screen Test, says:
“This is a unique opportunity to hear the voice of people in relation to an important aspect of their everyday experience. There has been so much change in television over the last 50 years and today there is more choice than ever before. In that context, it is vitally important to hear the voices of the viewers.
“What this survey is going to do is help us understand why people are making the choices they are making. We really need to understand the viewer’s role in TV – not just what they’re choosing to watch, but also how and why they’re watching it. I hope the Screen Test is going to give the industry a lot to guide them in the future when it comes to meeting viewers’ needs.”
Tom Loxley, Joint Editor of Radio Times says:
“We all know that television has the power to move us, entertain us, inform us and make us feel better. With the television revolution moving faster than ever – the list of streaming services seemingly grows weekly – we at Radio Times want to know about the power of TV in 2023 and its role in your life today. What was the last programme you watched? And how did it make you feel? Those are just two of the key questions we would like you to answer in The Screen Test, a ground-breaking, mass participation survey that we are launching this week with the universities of Sussex and Brighton. We hope the results will be used to help shape the television industry of the future – to give you more of the television you want.”
Visit www.thescreentest.org to take part in The Screen Test. The results of the survey will be announced on 28 September, Radio Times’ 100th anniversary, at a special event at the BFI Southbank on London’s South Bank.