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My Research BLOG 13

For my final paper, I am writing about small alternative news source, Alternet.org, and am comparing it to the eminent media outlet, Fox News. I chose two articles, from each source, pertaining to topic of whether to pass a bill, allowing students in Texas to carry a concealed weapon on campus. Both media outlets question the material, and have framed the situation as an ethical dilemma. Because i don’t know much about Texas and it’s laws concerning guns qualitative research will be my primary focus. Using mostly online ethnography, i think i will find myself more immersed in the subject and the details of the research. As Pavlik Says, ” Qualitative research, if done properly,  helps you see the world from another perspective in a way quantitative can never do (399).Not knowing much, using this style will help me relate this topic to issues surrounding my media world.

Although most of my research is going to be qualitative, there are times when both, qualitative and quantitative, research can be linked together. While trying to become more in-depth with the subject, statistical data will help provide more evidence towards the story. Using both of these methods will help provide all the information i need to be persuasive. The variety of stories and stats will help me branch my research to more in-depth sources and findings.

Lastly, i think that Media ecology will also play a huge role in my paper. Because this is in an area that i am not familiar with, i will have to research the media environment. Knowing that Texas has altered their gun laws, there is still a division about who can carry a concealed weapon. Probably being broadcasted on local news station, the story has reached the general public through television. Looking at the Alternet.org article, it primarily focuses on procedural aspects of the case, making the reader immerse themselves deeper into the situation. The Fox News entry is concise but illustrates specific realistic scenario’s of how you would feel if this happened to you. For my research, I will mainly use qualitative. But aspects like, Quantitative research and media ecology, cannot be over looked as it provides a deeper understanding of the subtext of the situation.

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  1. February 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

    What do you mean when you say that “both media outlets question the material” – the material in the bill?

    You’re right, you’re going to immerse yourself into the stories and into the worldviews of those who have written about them, so ethnography is an interesting way to look at it. Definitely you’re being asked to do qualitative research, and you’re doing an analysis of framing.

    You may be using quant data but you won’t be conducting a quant study.
    I think the fact that you’re interested in the cultural context of Texas suggests that you’ll be taking a cultural studies perspective. A cultural studies perspective might also do something like compare the access of guns to the access of media, and argue that we are a culture interested in expressing ourselves through what we own and what we say (e.g., guns as the medium of expression). If you wanted to argue that more school shootings in the news = more school shootings, that would be an effects perspective. A media ecology perspective might look at how people can argue for and contribute to politics (including politics about gun control) in a brand new way because of twitter and other social media. You don’t need to rewrite but do be sure that you’re able to gather evidence of how the different stories try to convince you of one perspective vs. another. What words do they each use? What experts are cited? How do they characterize the opposing viewpoint?

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