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Final Paper Research

My final paper will include a couple of different forms of research in it.  The paper will focus mainly on qualitative research because I do not have a laboratory or the tools to control a proper experiment regarding the comparing and contrasting between two news sources.  More specifically I will use mainly ethnography.

Ethnography is qualitative research in which the researcher immerses himself directly into the field and observes the subjects being researched in their “natural habitat.”  The researcher also tries to disrupt the subjects as little as possible.  What I intend on doing with this research project is observing two online sources of news – one of which is NYT.com, and the other being the Boston Phoenix.

I will look specifically at what each news source displays for news.  For the similar sources I will look at which bias each source leans towards based off of the headlines (although most news sources attempt to remain objective, it’s physically impossible to remain completely objective in all cases). 

I could also incorporate some Uses-and-graifications research into my paper.  Uses-and-gratification research looks at why people use some media (and not others) and what people do with that media, rather than what the media does to the people.  I could try and look up the statistics for each site and how often people use that site (either the Boston Phoenix or New York Times).  Then go even further in detail and look at ages, gender, etc.  Then I could potentially conclude, depending on the bias that each site displays, why certain groups go to either New York Times or the Boston Phoenix for news.  Potentially why those groups go to one site over the other for a specific type of news.

The specific story that I will look into is regarding Obama’s State of the Union.  The headline for the Boston Phoenix is “Obama’s State of the Union explained” while the New York Time’s headline is “State of the Union: Watch the Strategy, Not the Polls.”

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 23, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Good discussion of ethnography and uses & grats research approaches! Good job identifying a story with two different frames. Now you’ll want to say how you think the words provide evidence of differing frames. E.g., from the headline you can see that the Phoenix may be taking a more comprehensive approach and taking Obama at his word whereas the NYT may be taking a more skeptical approach, suggesting that the Obama team needs to distract readers from the distressing poll numbers.

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