Home > Uncategorized > Media Theory and Research Blog #13

Media Theory and Research Blog #13

For this assignment, the research that I have found myself conducting so far has been both qualitative and quantitative. My partner and I are comparing articles in The New York Times and the Activist that are about the social media and its effect on the uprising in Egypt. For example, while looking at the demographics of the sources, I found both qualitative and quantitative information. For The New York Times, I found a profile conducted by The New York Times itself which addressed the number of adults reading the paper, the age ranges, education, salary, and even home ownership and value. This research was all quantitative. However, when researching the demographics of the Activist, I found no actual quantitative information, but all qualitative. There were no numbers, but there were descriptions of the kind of bloggers and readers that contribute to the site, which included Young Democatic Socialists and those who wished to share their beliefs or challenge them. Even though I was not able to compare numbers to numbers or descriptions to descriptions for both sources, I was still able to make comparisons between both demographics. Regarding the information in the articles, I found some very helpful quantitative information in The New York Times. This includes information such as the number of Facebook users in Egypt and the number of followers of certain pages on Facebook which, according to the article, was a catalyst of the Egyptian revolution. In the Activist, there was quantitative information to suggest otherwise. While arguing that the social media may not have had a big effect like most think, the article gives the number of labor protests in Egypt since 2004 and states that this should not be ignored. It gives the reader an idea of the unrest that has been present in Egypt for some time and that the social media was not responsible for the uprising.

I think that our research will include some uses-and-gratifications research. This type of research examines why people use particular media and what people do with the media rather than what the media does to people. Especially when examining the Activist, it is obvious that this is a more “pro-reader” news source. By this I mean that it is a source where readers can comment, write their own blogs, and share their own opinions even if that means debating someone else’s blog. In this way, people are using the media for their own purposes as oppose to simply reading a more objective news source such as The New York Times. This is important to take into consideration when analyzing the content in comparison to another news source, like The New York Times, as we are doing in our current project.

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  1. February 23, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Looks like you are referencing quantitative research, but you are conducting qualitative research (e.g., you are not conducting a census poll or survey but rather drawing on others’ surveys and polls). It also sounds like one of your sources was using numbers, or quantitative research, as a means by which to bolster their claims. I think it’s interesting that you’ve chosen to look at how uses and gratifications research can help you understand something about the readers. However for this paper you can focus just on what you read in the different versions of the same story. Based on what you’ve found about readers, you can offer some speculation about what the papers assume about their readers and what they might need in order to convince them of the veracity of one way of seeing things over another. Also, see if you can find evidence for how one source seems to disprove or differentiate itself from the other.

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