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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Bored viewers forget TV
Children watch television
Children learn much from television
Almost half of all television viewers cannot remember anything interesting from the previous night's programmes, a survey suggests.

But 59% single out TV as their best source in the media for trustworthy information and "curiosity satisfaction", the survey by researchers at the Henley Centre found.

Four-fifths of those questioned said TV had opened their minds to new ideas.

We're often left struggling to extract the relevant nuggets of information

Laurie Taylor
But the survey - commissioned by the Discovery Channel - found a third admitted they watched TV to kill time rather than to be informed.

The 48% who cannot recall anything memorable about last night's programming will provide grist to the mill of those who maintain the medium is less informative than it used to be.

Only 8% look of people towards the internet as their main "curiosity satisfaction" source, the survey claims.

In an age when television is criticised for too containing many docusoaps and lifestyle features and not enough gravitas, many are unhappy.

The study says 41% of the population think media coverage fails to connect properly with their curiosity demands and can be "too topical" or "tailored to the agenda of media executives".

Curiosity buzz

The research highlighted a gap between people's desire to satisfy their curiosity and their opportunities to do so through the media.

Eight out of ten get a buzz from "satisfying curiosity" but 38% were overwhelmed by the information thrown at them.

"As a nation we have a voracious and healthy appetite for feeding and satisfying our curiosity, yet are left frustrated by what society and the media serve up," said sociologist Laurie Taylor.

"We're often left struggling to extract the relevant nuggets of information that will bring us real contentment."

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