Helvetas Interoperation, SDJF conduct study

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Helvetas Interoperation and the Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum (SDJF) conducted a national research study on ‘Freedom of Expression and New Media Culture in Sri Lanka’ through the Institute for Participatory Interaction in Development (IPID) islandwide, with a specific focus on new media used by youth aged 15 to 29.

SDJF Programme Director, Azad Mustaffa explained the results of the research speaking at a media briefing held at Radisson Hotel on Thursday (30 June). The study took place from July 2021 to December 2021.

According to the study, 96 per cent of those in the main survey sample of 15 to 29 age group responded that they use the Internet, while 65 per cent of those in the Influential group category responded “yes.”

Moreover, 65.6 per cent of those in the 15 to 29 age group said, they use the Internet several times a day, 13.1 per cent said they use it once a day, and 18.3 per cent indicated they use the Internet 2 to 3 times a week.

It was said a considerable majority of those in the 15 to 29 age group (78.7 per cent) are active users, as they indicate daily usage of the Internet. In mapping the new media landscape in Sri Lanka, this demonstrates a high engagement of the Internet and new media outlets by the youth in Sri Lanka (15 to 29 years) which signifies an active digital presence of Internet users in the country.

Mustaffa explained in terms of access to the Internet, 69.4 per cent of youth access the Internet through their own smartphones and an additional 26.9 per cent share a smartphone with someone else.

In regard to purposes of Internet usage, a majority, which was 55.6 per cent from the 15-29 year age group, indicated that they use Internet to access social media platforms.

By Kanchana Kolagolla