Studies show that the media usage behavior of different target groups has changed a lot in the last few years. In the target group from 14 to 29 years, less linear TV is consumed than in the „parent generation“, in which the TV is still the most used. In contrast, the amount of daily Internet use has increased in all target groups, but mostly among 14 to 29 year olds. Due to the increasing possibilities for using mobile devices, such as smartphones, the use of the Internet and social media is no longer limited in terms of space or time, so that there are more and more access possibilities to platforms that shine with new content every minute. The changes show that younger target groups are more likely to use non-linear offerings where they are free to choose what they want to watch and when. In response to these changes, the two public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF have created funk, whose offerings are adapted to the changing needs and media usage of a younger audience. With heute+, ZDF also created a program which, for example by integrating social media into the program, is aimed at a younger target group than the usual ZDF audience. This work examined the differences and similarities between formats for different target groups of public service broadcasters. This investigation was carried out using the example of various reportage formats on deepfakes, which are included in the offerings for both an older and a younger target group.
In order to achieve the research goal, we applied the structuring content analysis according to Mayring. This method allows us to work in a systematic and intersubjectively comprehensible way, since all coding instructions are contained in the codebook. The categories were set up and defined deductively (previously from theory using literature). Our codebook contains a total of ten formal and ten thematic categories with respective subcategories. We paid special attention to journalistic quality criteria and storytelling. These two categories turn out to be extensive in the content analysis, as they consist of different factors that influence each other. Before the analysis can start, the data material must be defined. Based on the research interest, two inclusion criteria arise:
The data material must contain audiovisual contributions and address different target groups. We chose the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF and their joint platform funk. In order to ensure comparability, we select reportages that deal with the same topic: deepfakes. With the final codebook, we examined the data material. First, we evaluated each category on its own and in the second step, when interpreting the results, we tried to identify connections between the categories. Finally, we compared the different reportages and highlighted the similarities and differences.
A closer look at the results from the practical part, i.e. the implementation of the content analysis, shows that the reportages for a younger target group have dealt with the topic of deepfakes more extensively and precisely. For example, the choice of the title, the number of views and the length of the reportages indicate that deepfakes as a topic are particularly interesting for young people. In addition, the results indicate that arranging the reportage at the eye level of the target group makes indeed sense, since reportages with reporters of the same age as the target group achieved a better reach. Even if there were no major differences registered in the journalistic quality categories, considering the results from the practical part in combination with all the information from the theoretical part of this thesis, this assumption becomes even more obvious. Since the reporter decides which information to focus on and to carry back, it is advantageous if the reportage is told from the perspective of a reporter who has a similar life reality and sees the world with similar eyes as the audience, as reporters from a different age perceive their environment differently. Accordingly, it would not just be enough to simply play out and distribute one and the same reportage for all target groups just on different platforms. There has to be a choice of offers that fulfill different expectations, since there are always recipients who don’t belong to the actual target group but still are reached. Following, different reportages for various target groups should be created and played out on all sorts of platforms. The investigation up to this point, however, only provided a first impression, since the amount of data was only sufficient for a first overview, but not for representative results.