Mastering media research

Blog post 1

Research is a journey, an adventure, following a trail in order to further interrogate the topic of interest. Personally, I have always thought the idea of investigative journalism to be the most interesting and compelling career a girl like myself could ever have. The idea of observing a topic that lacks something in research that you take it upon yourself to investigate its boundaries, is a ideal concept to me.

So what is media research?

In the most simple sense Berger(2014) defines research as ‘looking for information about something’. Whereas media is a concept known today as a mass communication tool. We know it in the form of television, radio, newspaper and as we expand in the modern world we are seeing more use of social media.

When you connect the two terms together ‘media research’ simply means looking to further inform about the media. As referred to by Berger(2014) different research methods are carried out in order to achieve this. Including ‘qualitative and interpretive’ or ‘quantitative such as content analysis’. However, research methods aren’t always the generic methods used in our society. In fact, every day, every human takes research into their own hands subconsciously, in the most simplest forms. For example, if we hear about a certain vacuum that we wish to buy we begin to immerse ourselves into a subliminal research process. Asking friends whether they’ve used it before, researching online, taking note of its ratings. Therefore, the research process is driven by the wish to engage in a topic that requires further information. Our daily research compares to media research in the way that we intend to reach an objective concerning the topic. However, media research is also different to our daily research as it is important to consider whether it is engaging enough to the audience. 

What aspect of the media would you like to research?

Before accepting the topic that instantly comes to mind there are certain steps that need to be considered. The topic I believe I would most like to research regarding the media would be the relationship between the media and the audience and whether, as the audience are we critical enough? Before this there are two questions that Berger(2014) identifies the first ‘is the problem important enough to bother with?’. Personally, I believe this topic is important enough to address in today’s society as we adapt to social media and our reliance on it to gain information in a research format without realising.

The second question noted by Berger(2014) is ‘is your hypothesis reasonable and testable?’. I believe it is a topic that many people would want to engage in as the media and honest media research concerns everyone.

Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’, in Media and communication research methods : an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, 3rd ed., SAGE, Los Angeles, pp. 13-32

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