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Doing Media Research

Doing Media Research
An Introduction

Second Edition

March 2009 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Emphasizing conceptual understanding rather than algebra, Doing Media Research: An Introduction provides comprehensive coverage of both quantitative and qualitative social science methods used in research about the media and its role in society. Using straightforward language, author Susanna Hornig Priest shows students exactly how to design and implement meaningful small-scale research projects. This book is based on the philosophy that students can learn methods most effectively through actually using them, and it empowers beginning students to experience research for themselves. This Second Edition features completely revised hands-on exercises and greatly expanded discussions of both media content analysis and the application of social science to new media.  

Features and Benefits:   ·       
  • Explores both qualitative and quantitative approaches to help beginning students understand both, so they can choose the right approach for a particular problem
  • Assumes no background in statistics and introduces most topics with a minimum of algebra, explaining all technical concepts in simple language in the text (and in the extensive glossary)
  • Explains the disciplinary origins of our various research methods, the nature of academic publishing, and the importance of the academic literature
  • Emphasizes the process of research design as applied to real-world problems and incorporates discussion of research ethics throughout the book
  • Gives students a chance to practice as they go along through chapter-by-chapter exercises, rather than approaching methods as an abstract subject that must be learned by rote
  • Describes advanced techniques in general terms to give beginning students an understanding of the full range of tools available without getting in the way of their ability to use more basic approaches right away  
Doing Media Research: An Introduction, Second Edition is intended for an introductory course in social science research methods for students in journalism, mass communication, and media studies at either the undergraduate or beginning graduate levels.

1. A Philosophy of Social "Science"
Qualitative Versus Quantitative Methods

Deductive Versus Inductive Logic

Applied Versus Basic Research

The Limits of Social Science Research

2. Foundational Disciplines
Anthropology and the Range of Human Experience

Psychology and the Experimental Method

Sociology and the Study of Human Social Groups

3. Mass Communication as a Research Field
Origins of Mass Communication Research

Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research Revisited

Content Analysis as a Key Research Tool

Mass Communication and New Media

4. Developing a Research Question, Reviewing the Literature, Exploring Data Sources, and Defining Variables
Reviewing the Academic Literature

The Nature of Academic Publishing

Defining and Refining Your Research Questions

More About the Role of Theory

Finding Resources and Data for Your Project

Defining and Measuring Variables

5. Designing Quantitative Research: Surveys, Experiments, and Quantitative Content Analysis
Survey Design Basics

Designing Basic Experiments

Content Analysis

6. Designing Qualitative Studies: Participant Observation, Interviews, Focus Groups, and Qualitative Content Analysis
Participant Observation


Focus Groups

Qualitative Content Studies

7. Describing a Numerical Data Set and Making Inferences
Levels of Measurement

Identifying and Summarizing Patterns

Reasoning From Sample to Population

8. Testing Hypotheses and Exploring Other Relationships
Testing Simple Hypotheses

Understanding Chi-Square

Comparing Two Means

Working With Complex Variables

Multivariate Techniques for Statistical Analysis

9. Qualitative Analysis: Identifying Themes and Writing Meaningful Summaries
Working With Theory and Identifying Themes

Analyzing Qualitative Data

Other Forms of Analysis

Writing Descriptive Summaries

Relating Data to Conclusions

10. Research Horizons: Opportunities and Challenges
New Media Technology

Research in a Global Village

Ethics in Research: A Further Note

11. Writing and Presenting the Research Report
Constructing the Research Paper

About Conference Presentations

A Concluding Note


too quantitatively focused

Dr Trey Stohlman
Broadcast Cinematic Arts Dept, Central Michigan University
October 18, 2013

This is a great introductory book for undergraduate and postgraduate journalism and media students. It uses simple language and straight forward examples and avoids being verbose or alienating. However it is definitely a starter book rather than one for students who have already undergone a lot of research methods reading already.

Ms Lily Canter
Communication & Media, Sheffield Hallam University
March 14, 2012

Proved to be more generic that specific to media studies. I was looking for a text that would help students to specifically work with research questions using mass communication data. Hence i choose it as a supplementary text

Dr Lystra Hagley-Dickinson
Dept of Sociology, Northampton University
September 24, 2010

Too simplistic for postgraduate research. More attention needed to be paid to qualitative methods of analysis.

Ms Sandra Pitcher
Media and Cultural Studies, University of KwaZulu - Natal
October 7, 2009