Home > Uncategorized > Blog #13–Marisa Pooley

Blog #13–Marisa Pooley

For the final assignment, I am comparing the alternative news source, Alternet.org, with a more conventional source, Fox News. More specifically, I am comparing a news story about potentially passing a bill that will allow students and professors to carry concealed weapons on college campuses in Texas. Most of my research about this article will be qualitative. Already embedded in the two articles are interviews and quotes about the bill. This lends itself to qualitative research. Some of the interviews sited about peoples’ beliefs on the subject could be considered an ethnographic study. For example, the article from Fox News is predominantly about their reporters immersing themselves in the “culture in order to directly observe it,” (Pavlik, p.398). The reporters interviewed college professors and students in Texas to hear first-hand their thoughts on the proposed bill.

There will also be some quantitative research involved in my final paper. The Fox News article sites statistics from previous school shootings, like the death of fourteen people in 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin. I will further research school shootings in order to strengthen my paper.

I think semiotics will also play a role in my final paper. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols but can also encompass words. The word choice in the articles is very poignant. The words used in the alternet.org story are especially important in understanding the role of the media. A word like “scary,” is a signifier, and fear within people is the signified result. Words like scary are not used in the article from Fox News, but are used generously in alternet.org’s article.



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  1. February 23, 2011 at 1:51 am

    True, the reporters use a form of qualitative research to do their job. It’s also true that you’re doing qualitative research as you look at how they frame their stories. Very good mention of semiotics – you’re right, that’s exactly what I’ve asked you to do. Good example with the word choice of “scary.” Also look at who is quoted, how evidence for positions are provided, how they might talk differently about what we should be afraid of (dangers of accidental shootings vs. dangers of attackers who need to be taken down by those who are armed and ready to do their duty for the greater good).

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