Skip to content
Evidence Base

Orig. title: JIM 2014: Jugend, Information, (Multi-) Media Basisstudie zum Medienumgang 12- bis 19-Jähriger in Deutschland

Engl. transl.: JIM 2014: Youth, information, (multi-) media Basic study on media usage by 12 to 19 year olds in Germany


Youth information multimedia credibility trust in media digitization seriousness

Publication details

Year: 2014
Issued: 2014
Language: German
Authors: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Type: Report and working paper
Publisher: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Place: Stuttgart
Topics: Internet usage, practices and engagement; Online safety and policy regulation; Risks and harms
Sample: For the current JIM study 2014, a representative sample of 1,200 target persons was telephone (CATI ) asked. Field work and data checking were carried out at the GfK Enigma institute in Wiesbaden. Deviations from the target structure were balanced out by an iterative weighting according to the characteristics: "Gender x age total" and "State" on the basis of the information provided by the Federal Statistical Office (as of December 31, 2012), so that the young people questioned had a mirror image that was as accurate as possible reflect the population. (JIM Study 2014, p.4)


Today's media landscape often confronts young people with different points of view and controversial representations on a wide variety of topics. The assessment and evaluation of the seriousness of information sources and their trustworthiness is therefore of great importance. One indicator for describing media images from the perspective of young people is therefore the credibility of the various media genres. In the JIM study 2014, among other things, the image of different types of media was examined in terms of trustworthiness and credibility. To this end, the young people were asked which media they would most likely believe in the event of contradicting reporting - radio, television, the Internet or the daily newspaper? In this scenario, 40 percent of the twelve to 19-year-olds surveyed trust the reporting in the daily newspapers, a good quarter opts for television (26%). Radio reports are the most trustworthy for 17 percent, while Internet reporting is the least trusted with 14 percent. And this despite the fact that the daily newspaper is used regularly by significantly fewer young people (32%) than radio (73%), television (83%) or the Internet (94%). Those who consider the Internet to be the most credible information medium name "Spiegel Online" and "Google" as the most trustworthy website with 16 percent each. In second place is "Wikipedia" (15%), followed by "Facebook" and various e-mail providers, each with eleven percent. Nine percent name YouTube as the most trustworthy Internet offer, eight percent trust the online presence of national newspapers such as the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", the "FAZ" or the "ZEIT". The JIM study has been addressing the question of the credibility of various media outlets at irregular intervals since 2005. The results show that adolescents judge this question very conservatively despite the extreme digitalization of everyday life. Daily newspapers (2005: 42%), television (2005: 28%) and the Internet (2005: 16%) have shown relatively constant values ​​in terms of credibility over the past nine years, only radio (2005: 10%) gained seven percentage points.


The spectrum of media offered in households where youths grow up has become extremely diverse. Families are already fully equipped with mobile phones, TV, computer and laptop as well as Internet access, and smartphones, too, are close, being available in 94 per cent of families. (JIM Study 2014, p.62) At 97 per cent, nearly every 12 to 19-year-old owns their own mobile phone (smartphone: 88 %), which is on average 16 months old. (JIM Study 2014, p.62) In order to capture the credibility of the various types of media, the adolescents were asked what media they would be most likely to trust in case of contradictory news coverage. For 40 per cent of questioned youths, news coverage of daily newspapers is most credible, about one quarter chooses TV (26 %). Radio broadcasts are most trustworthy for 17 per cent and Internet news coverage lies at the rear of the list (14 %). These results indicate the images of media and show that frequent use of one medium does not necessarily entail a large amount of trust and vice versa. (JIM Study 2014, p.63) In terms of forms of use of TV, mobile devices are establishing themselves more and more, but are currently no true alternative. With regards to the past 14 days prior to questioning, 98 per cent used a classic stationary TV set, 19 per cent watched TV through the Internet, eleven per cent used a mobile phone or smartphone, five per cent used a tablet PC. For the first time, the JIM Study 2014 gathered the use in advance of TV contents on the Internet. Two thirds of youths are aware that they can watch movies and series in advance online, but only one fifth has actually used this 'offering'. (JIM Study 2014, p.63) Digital gaming is possible for adolescents through numerous different media devices. 69 per cent of 12 to 19-year-olds regularly play at a computer, console, tablet, mobile phone or online. Here, digital games via mobile phone are most strongly integrated into the everyday life of youths; they are used regularly by half of the youths and are, contrary to other platforms, the only type of game equally interesting to both genders. Playing via tablet PCs, which was first observed in the JIM Study 2014, has – not least because of the still limited availability – not asserted itself in everyday life, with only 13 per cent of regular tablet play-ers. The “more traditional” playing options via computer, console or online are regularly used by 45 per cent, although the male players significantly dominate here (70 %, girls: 17 %). The average playing time with regards to all gaming options (computer, console, online, tablet and mobile phone games) is 77 minutes on weekdays. At 105 minutes, boys play more than twice as long as girls (48 min.). (JIM Study 2014, p.63-64) The smartphone is taking over an increasing number of functions that were until now fulfilled by various devices. Above all, smartphones are used to listen to music and go on the Internet; classic mobile phone activities such as calling and especially texting are significantly declining. The latter function has by now been taken on by messenger apps such as WhatsApp – 94 per cent of web-enabled mobile phone owners have installed WhatsApp. Additionally, youths have on average 18 additional apps installed; next to messenger apps, the most important ones include communities, photo apps and games. Use of smartphones and mobile internet also has drawbacks: 29 per cent of adolescents have already experienced pornographic or violent films delivered via mobile phone among their friends; 14 per cent have unsolicitedly received such contents. 39 per cent have already experienced someone in their circle of acquaintances being harassed via mobile phone or Internet. Sexting, too, is an important topic: 27 per cent have witnessed erotic or provocative images or films being sent in their circle of acquaintances. Additionally, constant reachability carries problems: More than half of all mobile phone owners agree that they spend much too much time with their smartphone. Two thirds occasionally feel annoyed by the flood of incoming notifications.(JIM Study 2014, p.64) Active participation of adolescents on the Internet is limited to rating and commenting on contents. Adolescents less commonly produce own contents beyond communities. Computers and the Internet are used for 51 minutes per day on average as tools for school activities. However, the use of Internet at school still does not have great significance; one third of students never use the Internet for research purposes related to class.(JIM Study 2014, p.64)

Related studies

All results