When I think about the word ‘research’ all these things pop up into my head. I’m thinking about uni, boredom, formality. But in reality research is something that people undertake on a daily basis.Wether it is to find that outfit that you saw someone wearing, looking for a good tv show to watch or finding out who our favourite celebrity is dating. Believe it or not, you are researching!
Basically, ‘research’ is a term to describe investigating or exploring. It is the process of understanding an idea in more depth, to discover something new or to draw conclusions. Berger (2014) discusses the differences between the everyday research and the scholarly research. The everyday research is the one where you jump on the internet to find out what time the movie starts at the cinema. Scholarly research is described as the type of research that is “more systematic, more objective, more careful, and more concerned about correctness and truthfulness” (Berger, 2014, p 15). Undertaking scholarly research could mean going to your local library and looking for a research report to analyse.
Today, I am going to focus of media research in particular. McCutcheon (2015) explains media research as an extremely broad multidisciplinary field, meaning that it covers a variety of academic topics. It looks into the relationships between popular culture and the media, in particular the role that media plays in society and in the industry the media content.
Media research is divided into two categories; qualitative and quantitative. The term ‘qualitative’ relates to the phrase “of what kind?”. Qualitative behaviour is designed to reveal a target audience’s range of behaviour and the perceptions that drive it with reference to specific topics or issues. (QRCA, 2015)
The term ‘quantitative’ refers to the questions, “how much?”, “how great” and “how many?”. It relates to numbers, figures, magnitude and measurement in relation to media research. (Gerber, 2015, pp 26). These elements are critical any research paper.
When deciding what area of media that I wanted to research, I was trying to think of something that I would both enjoy researching but also something that is current and something that I could learn from.
I decided that I want to focus on an aspect of social media as it is something that is current and will relate to my pool of interviewees. I wanted to also stay away from the main topics in that area and find a specific topic.
So there I went again, hopped on to google and researched my way to find a research topic. I came across a topic that has always interested me and that is the topic of activism within social media. Social media activism relates to the use of social media to campaign in order to bring about social or political change. This has always caught my eye, especially with campaigns such as KONY 2012 and Bring Back Our Girls.
Below is a video that shows an in depth description of the role of activism with social media:
Now that I have decided what I want to research I better start researching away!
Berger, A. 2014, ‘What is Research?’ in Media and communication research methods: an introduction to qualitative & quantitative approaches, 3rd ed. SAGE, LA, pp. 13-32
McCutcheon, M 2015, ‘Lecture 2: what is media research?’, BCM210, University of Wollongong, New South Wales, 11 March