Research. It’s a word that so many students are familiar with. Some may groan and roll their eyes into the back of their heads, but to me, research is brilliant! Our entire lives are saturated with investigations and research! I wake up in the morning and conduct research by scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram, sourcing information on what has happened in the previous 12 hours. I get stuck or intrigued by a question or idea, so I immediately turn to my friend, Google. Heck, even having a quick stalk on Facebook for the attractive guy or gal you have recently just met can be deemed as research. Research is educating us daily and opening our eyes and minds to so many new ideas and experiences. Simply put, it is when we are “looking for information about something” (Berger, A. 2014).
But what does media research truly mean? Well, firstly within our course we are both conducting and engaging in scholarly research, which by Berger’s definition “is more systematic, more objective, more careful and more concerned about correctness and truthfulness than everyday research” (Berger, A. 2014). From here, we are able to be subject to two different aspects of research, qualitative and quantitive. Quantitive is a form of research lead more by logical and statistical approaches, whereas qualitative is more targeted to how individuals feel and what they think. Whilst both are hugely influential is research fields, I believe in terms of media research, qualitative is used more often. However, this is not to say that both forms of research cannot be used together. A researcher who plans on gaining very accurate and insightful results, will use both forms to analyse the investigation which they are conducting, thus making the overall process that much more successful.
One aspect of the media which I would particularly enjoy researching and would be highly influenced by qualitative research would definitely be the rise of celebrities in promoting activism through multiple social media platforms and through the media. Some people argue that their support and involvement is invaluable in helping raise funds and promote causes, whilst others suggest that their involvement may truly be deemed as selfish or more politically based. I first became interested in this idea of the celebratisation of activism when I saw Emma Watson’s speech for gender equality under the campaign ‘He For She‘.
Watson’s speech spread worldwide via so many social media platforms and if you ask for my personal opinion, is one of the best God damn speeches I have listened to. Check it out below if you have not yet had the experience of listening to it!
Berger, Arthur A. 2014, ‘What is research?’, In Media and Communication Research methods : An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 3rd ed., SAGE, Los Angeles, pp. 13-32
McCutcheon, M. 2015 ‘What is media research?’, Powerpoint slides, Research Practices in Media and Communication, BCM210, University of Wollongong, viewed 13th March 2015