For our final project, we are working with the Mark Levin radio show as the alternative new source. Levin’s program is heavily aimed at the right side of the news spectrum, with a website splashed in red, white and blue and pictures of soaring eagles. Many of the current headlines are strong criticisms about Obama’s new budget proposal, and most other headlines seem to stay at home in the United States. Because this program is so conservative, we will most likely pin it against a more liberal mainstream news site, such as CNN radio. Both of these sites will be good tools for research.
For my final paper, I will be researching the Youtube user, “sxephil”, and the news source, the New York Times. Both follow up on recent events occuring around the world, but one takes a more humorous perspective when broadcasting the stories. I believe the best method of media research to use will be Media Ecology. It is the study of “media environments and how those environments may affect people and society”, so not only will I be looking into how the news sources compare and contrast, but the particular audience each source it attempting to target and how that plays into news information in modern society.
Youtube, the video sharing website, is an extremely large media environment with an immense amount of public information (usually in the form of user uploaded videos). So anyone can access it at any given time which gives user the ability to show people around the world different forms of information. What the user “sxephil” does, are small 2-4 minute videos highlighting the daily news in a very entertaining manner. Most users who would not usually watch the news, might rely on information they get from users such as “sxephil”, because some may find other news sources to be dry and boring. This gives the Youtube media environment a lot of power, because most of their users are young users.
The New York Times is also a large media environment, consisting of reports and stories done by certified reporters. A lot of the stories nowadays come in the form of articles, podcasts, and even video as well. The difference with Youtube is, is that this news source is aiming at a much older and educated generation (which is seen through advertisements on their webpage). It is also not as entertaining as some of the other Youtube news sources, but it provides stories with a lot of detail and many times provide more objective, than subjective statements. This makes it more credible than the Youtube sources (hypothetically speaking), but the way each individual interprets varies constantly from person to person. This is why I am using this method to study the media environments as well as how they affect each story being told.
For my paper, I plan on researching by using the quantitative method as well as the qualitative method. The quantitative method is described as “Research that focuses on numbers and measures and experimentation to describe phenomena. Researchers usually have a hypothesis they are trying to prove or disprove through controlled experimentation.” On the other hand, qualitative research is described as, “Research that describes phenomena in words instead of numbers and measures.” Both methods will be used in order to prepare the most data for my paper. I am analyzing the Wisconsin Budget Issue from news stories on FOX News as well as CNN. Most of my research will be qualitative research will help me view another perspective and devise common themes within the articles and video clips. The quantitative research that will be done, I will look at simple demographics of the viewers of each station. A topic I will be looking into when performing this research is the agenda setting and framing that takes place within the two news channels. By each news source wanting to convey a certain agenda, their news is framed in a way that is attractable to that particular audience.