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Archive for the ‘M81MC – PostGrad Research Prep’ Category

Under my course timetable it states that I have a lecture in the slow of 12-13.30 and it simply says ‘Post-Graduate Research Preparation’. No module code. Nothing.

It turns out the class is M81MC run by Adrienne Evans and technically it’s for CCM students (Communications or something) but during the course of the lecture I discovered that as a journalist I can take part if I want. My first instinct was ‘SEE YA!’ but I’m not entirely rude so I stuck around and it turned out I’ve elected to take on yet more work than needed.

The lecture was genuinely quite interesting though. It discussed different types of research but focused on telling us about one for this session. Quantitative Research.

Over the summer I wrote an article about the NBA lockout to apply to university but I also sent it to basketball writers (of whom presented me with positive feedback), for the article I compared average age of each basketball team in 1999 and this year and I found myself doing a lot of quantitative research – I just didn’t know it.

Quantitative (type it it’s fun!) research is interested in mass amounts of data, hence the word quantity in there. It prefers facts over complexity and it must be reliable, in the sense that if I ran data about a certain subject and so did someone in China, about the same subject, the results would be the same.

An interesting quantitative research study was the Global Media Monitoring Project, which counted the use of words or conjoured images from newspapers and media outlets around the world. Whilst we only looked at a small section of the results in class I can imagine it would be quite interesting to read more about it.

We then also ran a task while watching a real M&S advert then a spoof one, and the results would be identical in quantitative research because this form doesn’t take in to consideration such events like irony or humour.

So quantitative research obviously has it’s flaws but for a journalist it can be a very intriguingĀ  tool that can be used to create some interesting stories and viewpoints on major events.

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