How to Do News with New Media?
This study summarizes how news is done with new media. The descriptive information from the literatures attempt to describe the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, challenges and opportunities present within the process of news making. The role of media in society is very large at scope. From information dissemination to knowledge contribution, agenda setting to shaping values, and as cultural, political, or economical agent of change to its watchdog function, media has undergone extensive development in its processes and applications. Today, with the advent of greater opportunities, discoveries and learning brought about by constant human invention, knowledge acquisition, and exploration, the previously traditional segments of human life is transformed into more effective, efficient, yet complicated ones. For instance, the field of journalism that caters to the reporting of news and current events in various media such as broadcast (television and radio) and print (newspapers and other publications) is no longer the same. Some alterations, improvements in general, are added to further enhance its role in the society. Technological advancements like the invention of the computer and other new media systems paved way to the existing changes in the journalism field. All aspects of this noble field are affected with the incorporation of new media technologies such as the Internet, World Wide Web, and others. Among the affected parts of journalism is the process of news gathering, writing, making, and delivery. With this fact, the news of yesterday, or the process of making news will never be the same again.
What will happen to the world and its inhabitants when the flow of information suddenly stops? Imagine yourself alone and trapped in a desolate island where no means of communication is possible. How will you communicate to the rest of the world? What is a modern society without current information and events? How will the people know what is “in or out” or what is happening around the environment? What is life without news?
In this highly sophisticated times along with the presence of various innovations in technology and processes brought about by globalisation and international cooperation, the role of news to daily living is undeniably relevant and indispensable. With news, everything is made known to the rest of human population by using the available vehicles of communication, such as television, radio, or newspaper. During the information revolution and technological progression in the recent years, the given traditional vehicles of communication is upgraded and transformed to be high-end ones, in the course of the introduction of new media technologies like the Internet, World Wide Web, the computer, virtual reality, and others. The addition of new media to the once-upon-a-time simple and traditional process of news making and delivery paved way to several new approaches, opportunities, challenges, and discoveries in the field of journalism. With the particular beneficial influences as well as drawbacks of the new media, the processes of news gathering, making, writing, and delivery are widely affected.
This dissertation investigates how to do news with new media. It explores the process of news making through the use of various new media technology. Since news making in broadcast and print are quite different, individual discussion in relation to the process of making news is apt. Furthermore, news making in new media (e.g. web sites) is tackled. The analysis includes combined quantitative and qualitative method of research provided with descriptive research undergone to some literatures related to the subject.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The general aims of this research are to look into the process of news making in new media. By using the combination of the quantitative and qualitative methods of research, the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, challenges, and opportunities of news making in new media is identified, analysed and presented. Through looking into the results of the investigation, relevant generalizations will be formulated that will contribute to the development of new making and the journalism field as a whole. Lastly, the information gathered in this research endeavour will serve as a useful guide to individuals to be more aware and vigilant regarding the process of news making and news a whole and to provide recommended actions that can be taken in order to properly face and overcome the affecting circumstances.
Specifically, the objectives include the following:
To study the process of new making in new media;
To identify the characteristics of news making in new media ;
To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, challenges and opportunities of news making in new media;
To asses the effects of new media in news.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study was conducted with the intention to provide information and explanations to the nature of news writing and making particularly in new media. Generally, this research is for knowledge acquisition and awareness. The importance of this study lies to the eventual presentation of data that will seek answers the question on how news are created during these days with the aid of new technologies present at hand. Furthermore, the importance of news to people is believed to be equated with the need to inform them on how news is created and processed. The issue of objectivity or neutrality is constantly tackled as to identify the role of a responsible journalist in shaping values, setting agenda, and overall view of the world.
By being aware of these concepts on news making in new media, the readers of this research will be able to validate their existing preconceptions by linking such with the results and findings of the study. The identified characteristics or features, advantages and disadvantages, challenges and opportunities of the process of making news in new media will encourage media-related individuals, particularly the journalists and publishers, and people in general to see to it that the principles of responsible journalism is practice and perfected. This study will serve as a evaluating or qualifying mechanism of the overall process of news making and delivery. Aside from awareness, the readers of this research have to understand how various factors of the new media technologies interact and affect the news making process. It will primarily benefit aspiring journalists in relation to the principles of news writing.
This study would also be of great help to those media researchers, scholars, experts, and social scientists who are interested in finding out the collective implications of the boom and the bust phases of the new media news making. Moreover, educators can gain from this study, as they find the connection between how they have to design their curriculum and what are the actual needs of the emerging sophisticated process are. In that way, they would be able to make immediate changes, if necessary, or continued improvement of their programs, through further studies. Also, this study would benefit future researchers in the field of journalism and the social sciences since it depicts the future of the news making and the process of journalism as whole and its varying effects to many sectors of society.
Finally, to the researcher, this study will increase the knowledge that is innate to herself/himself. The interests that she/he posses in relation to media and its applications, particularly in doing news will flourish as she/he continue to explore the amazing world of journalism. From this research study, the researcher will be able to contribute to the existing body of knowledge within the limits of her/his academic environment through the study’s results and findings. Additionally, the development in her/his personality in relation to professionalism and work ethics will also be cultivated throughout the duration of the research. All in all, this endeavour will make the researcher a better person in preparation of her/his chosen profession in the future.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There is no doubt in this day and age, modern societies and people are greatly influenced by the media. This is why most researchers have taken up the courage in understanding its functions, and impact it makes in changing the matters pertaining to society, the least of which is that of public opinion (1992). Meanwhile, international cooperation and globalization is currently the catchphrase for the perils and promises facing humanity in the 21st century (1999; 2000; 2000; 2000). As stated, globalization is a social change i.e. an increase in connections among societies and their elements due to, among others, the explosive evolution of transport and communication technologies. With the worldwide culture of globalization, media in general is widely and rapidly affected.
News is an indispensable part of people’s lives (1999). Given the strong relationship between media and society, questions have arisen regarding the importance of news, especially in performance of its given responsibility as the watchdog and increasing knowledge and information dissemination to individuals. As a whole, the importance of news and its effects to the society are connected to the process of news making and the field of journalism. As the world’s vicissitudes affect the life of every immediate recipient of news, there is a need to know the underlying mechanisms that happen during the gathering to writing to delivery up to the feedback of news items. The world had developed from simple and traditional to multi-use and contemporary processes, so, it is expected that changes will come into view.
Truly, the outbreak of information technology – its potentialities and advantages affected much of the ways of living at this present century. In terms of journalism, it changed the traditional medium of broadcast and print news making into sophisticated and electronically processed transfer of information. The approaches used by new media, such as computer networks, the Internet, World Wide Web, virtual reality, satellite, and others are all ground-breaking and undeniably breaking the traditional boundary of human life. The efficiency and effectiveness of the said advances in technology contributes to the comfort and easiness of the formerly hard and manual tasks. For instance, according to (1999) the Internet is rapidly transforming society. The technological revolution that includes information and communication technologies (ICT) has the potential to improve all aspects of life. ICT allows users to obtain, develop, transform, and transmit a broad range of information at an extremely rapid pace. Nowadays, the Internet has become more than just a medium for research. It also has become the place to conduct global business and communications (2000). No global company can ignore the culture and customs of different countries where it is expanding. The Internet and the World Wide Web, as the most popular and frequently used new media, is continuously expanding its useful applications. According to (1997) and (2001) the Internet would restore community by providing a meeting space for people with common interest, overcoming limitations of space and time. Consequently, technological innovations especially in online applications had radically changed human activities. In business, The Internet had made products and services across the globe a low-cost alternative to traditional international firms (1992).There are numerous advantages, applications, and identified conveniences of the Internet (2000; 2001; 1999; 1999; 1997).
The popularity of new media like the Internet in relation to journalism became an international and professional craze (2005). Building a culture of online publishing and journalism (e.g. newspapers, magazines and journals) is next at hand. But with the new techniques that were introduced by new media technologies, the process of news making and delivery is altered in some considerable ways. The characteristic of the traditional news making is carried out and was renewed using the said media. Meanwhile, the implementation of new media technologies and its mechanisms in journalism offered advantages as well as disadvantages, challenges and opportunities that somehow make the process of making news unique and innovative.
In the initial observations of the researcher with regards new media characteristics or features, news making is faster as based on the speed that the medium offers. In advantages, the gathering of information in various places regardless of space and time is feasible. But in the other hand, the disadvantages include the presence of technical problems, issues of customer usage (readership and viewership), plagiarism, and many others encountered in the course of news making and delivery. The opportunities of news making using the new media technologies are pouring. Among these are the breaking up of distance and time in gathering and delivery of news items, numerous sources of information, increase effectiveness and efficiency, and the like. Challenges such as the issue of objectivity or neutrality, regulation, and media effects are also apparent.
News, as the primary source of information in the overall state of the environment (1990) – may it be locally or globally, must be factual and accurate most of the time. Hence, there is a certain requirement to know the basic foundation of news gathering and making especially with the involvement and incorporation of the new media technologies. As journalists inform people about the matters of society, their responsibility to provide what is true, correct, and ethical is a challenge (1987). The people and community in whom they serve are dependent to the information they write and disseminate. They are accountable to the effects of news being circulated or broadcasted. Today, developments in local radio and television, for example, present exciting possibilities for significant gains in the media’s ability to cover and deliver the news (1990).
The roles of the journalists not only in writing and delivery of news but also in shaping values, setting agenda, and the whole sense of the world are equally important. Journalists’ specialist skills are increasingly being eroded as managements encourage them to become generalists (1998). Further, the regulation of media in general as seen in its watchdog function is among the highly controversial purpose of the system. Up to this days where conventions of objective reporting become established, there are still the presence of the continuing debate on the issues of balance and objectivity if news. These changes in the profession of journalism, its training requirements and the tasks involved in being a journalist, have occurred alongside a redefinition of the very nature of journalism. Thus, with the presence of new media, how are these things constantly and appropriately proliferated, particularly in the process of making news?
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
One of the main issues to be deal with in this study is the opportunity to study the overall process of making news through the use of new media and its related technologies. In order to find the sought information, the following research questions are to be answered:
How is news created with new media?
What are the characteristics of news making in new media?
What are the advantages and disadvantages, challenges, and opportunities of news making in new media?
What are the effects of new media in news?
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
This study focuses on the various factors that affect the process of news making in new media. It was undertaken to provide information about the emerging phenomenon of new media journalism.
This study shall take into consideration the analysis of news and its content provided in the said media. It is certainly focused on the process of making news using these media as the vehicle of communication.
Review of Related Literature
The wide range of literatures related to media communications particularly journalism is extensive. Given with this fact, this chapter go over the related literatures conducted on the area of study. By embarking on such pursuit, the research may be guided accordingly by firstly discovering where the research is coming from, what and how much have been studied regarding the topic and what it is yet to tackle. Besides providing background to the study, this chapter provides the necessary backbone and support in order for the research to stand credible.
By surveying the past publications and researches related to the study, a historical perspective may take place. The researcher also gains an idea on how such venture has been explored in the past. In this manner, this study may be able to reflect, compare itself, learn from setbacks and produce a stronger and more efficient study. The literature review also provides the research a rich source of data, both new and old, that will enhance and enrich the study (and the direction it will plan to undertake) even the more. References from this segment of the paper are a product of broad researching and information retrieval.
Before delving into the main task, there is a need to identify the key concepts to be discussed. News and news making (gathering, writing and delivery included), new media and its technologies, and how does journalism work in the new age are briefly discussed.
News: What is the latest?
As people popularly refer as “north, east, west, south”, news is not interpreted in this way – at least in some instances. Theoretically, news is the new information or current events that are reported by different sources, such as print (newspaper), broadcast (television, radio), specialty media (wire services, satellites) and even web sites.
(1999) described news stories as “consistent rational system and abstracted interpretation derived from the chaos of a given moment and filtered through the stages of fixed, editorial necessity”. He further claimed that news reports are organized artificially and fully mediated by the culture it supports and not ordained by reality nor necessarily complete descriptions of each. Like other institutions, the practice of journalism has undergone series of development processes which led to patterns of change and adjustments that are closely interconnected to the technological and cultural history of the community whose rules and modes of production are at least partly based on the greater society’s more general pattern of change.
New Media: the Innovative Big Leap
New media is an innovative field of study that emerged from the cultural applications and practices of computer especially on the aspect of production, storage and distribution (2001;2000; 2003). Today, new media is applicable to various perspectives such as those of social sciences (e.g. education, arts and humanities, mass communications). The involvement of technologies like personal computers, networks, hi-tech devices, and virtual reality characterizes new media studies. The “media” in new media pertains to the technologies that are utilised in communicating messages – these include mass media (print and broadcast), popular media (film and books), and digital media (computer-based games, World Wide Web, virtual reality) and others. New media, according to (1986) offer many opportunities to the plain old press. With this, the given promises of new media in relation to journalism are uncountable.
In his book, The Language of New Media, (2001) analysed new media and its language by using the history and conventions of modern visual and media cultures. The evolution of the medium from its old cultural forms and languages are scrutinised as to seek what ways it relies and what ways in which it breaks. Further, Manovich stipulated the effects of computerization of the world in relation to visual languages used in modern day culture. (2001) presented an implicit theory on the development of new media and the advantage of placing it to larger historical perspectives and applications.
Meanwhile, MediaCorp Studios Senior Manager of New Media Content defined the new media such as the Internet, mobile and all other rich media devices that deliver digital content (2006).
With the provided descriptions and definitions of new media, it is clear that the scope is entirely relative in relation to the subject of this research especially in dealing with the main purpose of finding how to do news using such technologies.
Journalism in the New Age: the Coming of a New Trend through New Media
Historically, news media have been constrained by the presentational requirements of the medium, such as the length of time of a broadcast or the number of pages available to a daily newspaper. But with the birth of new media, journalism gradually transformed into something more remarkable. The technological advances applied to the venerable profession of journalism changed the traditional processes and principles in relation to areas affected. The entry of new media technologies paved way to new trends of news writing and the journalism field.
The importance of new media is immeasurable. In the Asian regions alone, networks have been setting-up their own new media, multimedia or digital media teams in order to go with he flow of the telecommunication industry (2006). In the interviews conducted by Bakht to different media people, there are several factors that make new media important. , SVP and Managing Director of Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) said that the presence of new media in their company serves as top strategic priorities. BVITV recognizes the changing needs of the consumers especially the habits and viewing patterns. For this reason, new media was incorporated to enhance the platforms that will lead to greater consumer demand and network advantage (2006). On the other hand, MTV Networks Asia Pacific President Nigel Robbins believed that the emerging and existing digital media are to be explored due to the fact that “audiences are typically early adopters of technological advances”. CNBC Asia Pacific President and Managing Director Jeremy Pink said that new media is an alternating distribution channel for broadcast networks in their supply of content. The utilization via mobile phones or broadband applications will serve as an alternate source of revenue stream. In business, the aforementioned importance of new media was apparent.
According to (2002) as proven in her study, new media played a role in the people’s revolution. The rapidity that is brought up by these technologies contributed to the People Power revolution in the Philippines during the ouster of former President . The effectiveness and efficiency of new media such as Short Message Service (SMS) was recognized especially on the given case and was reaffirmed using the said medium. People watch the television and at the same time send and receive text messages on their mobile phones about the event. Traditional media like the newspapers, TV and radio covered it simultaneously but they could not handle the pace of information being transmitted by SMS. Apart from SMS, new media like the e-mail and the Web were used as immediate venue for information dissemination aside from weapon of protest.
This case was a perfect example on the certain advantages of new media technologies as being patronized by almost majority of the rational and technology-raised population today. in the Philippines, the said event created openings for the entry of new media products that will eventually cater to the needs of the politicized market ( 2002).
According to (2005), the Internet delivered not just technological innovations but become an instrument for change, accelerating the rate, multiplicity and exchange of ideas. It affects nearly everything from culture to competition. It has also altered the economics of media in two important ways. First, it enables nearly limitless distribution of content for little or no cost. Second, it has potentially put everyone on the planet into the media business, including the sources, businesses, governments and communities newspapers cover. Other features of the Internet that make a promising medium are easy-to-use and open-source publishing tools ( 2005).
The Gathering and Making of News
In the traditional journalism media, hundreds of stories come into the newsroom each day and it is given that there is a limited amount of time and space to report all of them (2002). In order to facilitate the flow of news – from the most important or least important in relation to news value, a news director or an editorial committee has to decide what will be reported on any given day. Questions like – Which stories get reported and which ones don’t? How are these decisions made? – are important to asked. News coverage can be positive, negative or hurtful ( 1994).
The exaggerated death of the newspaper medium was connected to the periods of massive change. Newspaper industry was revived with the presence and the sudden burst of dot.com outlets in the late 1990s. With new media, the newspaper had undergone a radical transformation through the aid of the Internet (2005).
News gathering is the business of reporting, of finding out and recording of key elements and information for a news story. Different reporters engage in various techniques and means of gathering information for the completion of their stories. The medium in which the news story will be channeled is also considered in the ways of collecting news information since different the different media forms call and serve for different audience and readers. But generally, reporters share almost the same methods of gathering news information through first hand or personal sources and secondary data which are valid and reliable.
Now, it is said that the same process of news gathering in traditional way is applied similarly to electronic media. However, it is considered that the features of the traditional process of media are added with some more processes. Among these features are the following: speed, accessibility, and convenience through the help of new technologies (1991). Thus, the technological advancements that the modern society is characterized at present makes the people living today to experience and two things in the most efficient and effective way. The world has changed since the introduction of the computer technology and other communication innovations that time and space barriers have long been overcome in the need for individuals to get connected.
According to (1995) there are two ways that are available for journalists and reporters in using computer-assisted reporting (CAR) in news gathering which include online-based method and data-based analysis. Online-based newsgathering makes use of commercial services offered by business enterprises and Internet-based services like the World Wide Web ( 1995b). The data-based analysis, on the other hand, uses original databases which could be of both public and private in orientation (1995a; 1996). (1996) claimed that commercial databases initiated the information revolution that defines the present era fueled by the successive developments in the features and services provided by the Internet and the World Wide Web. (1995) further stated that CAR strategies have been increasingly adopted by investigative reporters.
The transformation of media into digital format has changed media landscape and attempts to develop new trends and future developments. In today’s society, there is a new challenge in the modern technology sweeping the nation. The transformation of media into digital format becomes a source of pioneering new grounds. Media will be everywhere, and will not be tied to a single point. The transformation of media has a big impact especially on the people the way information will be transferred. The impact of the transformation is a wide digital format on the technology and this transformation will create a big responsibilities and changes on the part of media and communication industry there will be an increase in the funding of the capital and investment with accordance to the transformation of media into digital format.
The Issue of Objectivity
Reporters as well as writers need news sources (1994). The issue of credibility is very crucial especially new media journalism. In a study conducted by (2001), scientists and teachers were evaluated on do the aspect of credibility of media information sources. Findings of this study reflect that there are significant differences on credibility ratings of scientists and teachers of various levels. As a result, there is a need for the subjects, particularly the teachers, to be more aware of how credibility judgments for information sources may differ from those of experts. The teachers are recommended to venture on further researches in order to deal with the demands of the changing culture of education and instruction as aided by the emergent power of technologies like the Internet.
The production and dissemination of media information involves selection and interpretation of news regardless of the medium. The power of the media comes from their ability to select what information is going to become news and what is not, the latter material falling well away from the public purview. How well the media perform their role of information transcribes is certainly open to question. Multimedia is developed to further improve the everyday living of the people. It designed to aid the needs of the person utilizing it. It is not created nor invented to harm anybody. Therefore, responsible use of media should be observed and laws on multimedia abuses should be developed in order to minimize if not to eliminate the negative effects.
How does Journalism work in the new age?
In our everyday lives, news is everywhere. It reports what is happening, what will happen and what is foreseen to happen. It even reminds us of past events that are worth remembering. Basically, the whole idea of journalism is to give information that people do need as well as do not need. In this time of information revolution, people are overloaded with information, both necessary and unnecessary. Irritating to some and useful to some as it may seems, journalism evolved with the times and have managed to keep up with its media counterparts. Journalists are more powerful than before, with the aid of many modern reporting tools brought by the emergence of new technologies.
New media, like the Internet has altered these constraints and provides the opportunity to educate, inform, and provide alternative readings and diverse perspectives of events. With the convenience brought about by this evolutionary media, the real action will be several minutes ahead and then it will be visible afterwards within a click-of-the-mouse.
Studies have shown that the introduction of the Internet in the field of mass media has resulted to popular academic researches on its effects on the message consumption using the traditional modes of mass communication ( 2000). The study combusted by (2000) recorded that the increase in the message consumption through the Internet has greatly influenced the decline in the use of traditional mass communication media such as the print, radio and television. The monthly telephone surveys in 1998 by Research Center for the (2000) supported the mentioned findings as online news users increased in number which likewise resulted to the decreasing use of TV, newspaper and magazines as sources of news updates and current events. The relationship of the inception of online communication led to the bulk of academic endeavors pursuing the studies on the current condition of the traditional forms of public communication (1999).
In a study conducted by (2004), she reinforced the belief that most learners on this generation are inclined in media. The learning experiences are likely related to media forms like the television, movies, and computer games. For example, high school students likely remember no time when the television has at least 30 channels available. Younger children own video games, personal computers, and the World Wide Web ( 1999).
It is interesting to note, however, that there are relatively few number of studies and researches that were conducted which address the range of which commercial pressures of the new media environment, induced by technological innovations, are transforming media firm and journalist routines, as well as shaping traditional news values (1999; 2000; 1998; 2000; 2000).
As the primary venue for public information, regular news reports mediated by print and broadcast communications are considered and recognized for their democratic function that enables the public to make personal and communal stand on issues that the society faces. Contemporary studies in the field of mass communication especially the focus in the discipline of journalism will inherently provide descriptions and explanations on the structure of the society, politics and culture of the country particularly in relation to the creation of news using the new media.
New Media Application and People
Primarily, new media technologies were used excessively by modern societies. The primary application is news. For instance, the September 11 terror attack in 2001 was broadcasted using the new media first than the traditional vehicles of communication. Thus, with the use of new technologies in media, the historic terror incident of September 11 in U.S. was immediately made known by the whole world. This was an extraordinary incident that created a “spectacular” – may it be on the Internet or on the TV screen. It was a total spectacular, not in the exact essence of the word, but it pertains to the producing and broadcasting such visual images of the sort that millions of Internet and TV viewers all over the world must have watched on that day, unable even to blink, and the collective act of watching them intently, necessarily turned the events into a spectacle ( 2003; 2001).
Various institutions were affected after the massive catastrophe. Just after the attack, the world media – broadcast and print in nature immediately came into covering the whole story. In each of the different news media, the realignment of priorities took shape in different ways. In U.S., during the early hours after the attacks, the four major television networks agreed to share video and satellite footages. They suspended their regular programming in their cable and satellite stations. Instead of showing entertainment formats revolving around music videos, sport, or films began broadcasting, news feeds were presented. This sudden shift of programming resulted to decrease or disappearance of the most number of commercials. Hence, it cost the country’s media outlets hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue especially during the dates of September 11 and 12 (2003). This was made possible with the aid of new technologies.
In the field of broadcasting, cable and other print media organizations, it is essential to determine the related behaviors of the clients and this includes viewership, readership and listening behaviors (2000). The growing openness of cable and the World Wide Web and the surfacing of new media products that are customized for more barely defined audiences than conventional broadcast and print media. The interactive temperament of many web sites gives way to one person to develop into a target for a modified message, with the person shaping the nature of the message. For instance Microsoft/ NBC shared cable and Internet business enterprise, MSNBC, permits an individual to customize a web page experience, as do many other web sites.
New media forms emerge in the ever-evolving citizen media world ( 2005). The future of media companies particularly in journalism continues to be an evolving and frustrating concept for mainstream media. Like the early days of the Internet, there is a palpable optimism driving experimentation and the idea that any effort could become the next big thing.
This chapter discusses the research approach, data gathering method, data base of the study, validity of the data, research and originality of the data in the study.
In studying the process of news making or journalism, the challenges that set ahead as seen and described by various media professionals throughout the world is the fact that the subject and references are very extensive in nature. Thus, the researcher uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. It is especially useful when conducting a study wherein the data are immeasurable, such as feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and others (2000). Furthermore, the study will be descriptive as it will focus on the conditions set and the nature that surrounds the data and does not focus on the correlation with other collected facts. The qualitative methodology that was employed in this research is appropriate since it seeks to interpret or illuminate the actions and/or objective and subjective experiences of the media professionals, particularly journalists regarding their experiences in the field.
So, the goals of qualitative research are primarily to advance new theory, interpret the significance of individual events and giving voice to particular groups. In contrast quantitative research is primarily about testing theory, identifying broad patterns and making predictions. Quantitative researchers are interested in how variables co-vary across cases. Therefore, they seek a limited amount of information about many cases. Qualitative research, on the other hand, seeks a lot of information about a limited number of cases. In this case, the choice of research strategy depends at least in which part and what the researcher wants to achieve.
There are problems associated with qualitative research. One is the fact that people often find it very difficult to explain their behavior or their motivations. Another problem is that many people are reluctant to tell a researcher what makes them do what they do. Sometimes interviewees will try to guess the answers the interviewer is looking for and answer and on other occasions respondents may give answers that they believe are true but are simple versions of the true reasons.
Postal surveys are a cheap method of interviewing, which is why almost a quarter of all surveys carried out are done by this method, but they also carry a very low response rate. Often, less than 10% of questionnaires sent out are returned. The usual reason is because people simply put them in the bin along with all the other mail that they consider to be ‘junk’. In order to improve response rates, researchers and research firms often include incentives (e.g. a free pen or a promise that all respondents will be eligible for a prize draw). It is possible to ask a large number of questions as respondents can answer at their own convenience, and it is a good way of asking personal questions as no personal contact takes place.
The problem of language is very important with postal surveys. Since there is no working idea of the literacy level of the person who receives the letter, it is essential to keep the language as simple as possible. Researcher should also bear in mind that this type of survey necessarily excludes illiterate people and those who cannot read English, so it may not always give you a representative response.
Surveys conducted over the telephone are increasingly popular as they are so convenient for both interviewer and respondent. The interviewer can conduct the interview either without leaving the office or from home and the respondent similarly can reply from an armchair. There is a ready supply of respondents to contact – researchers only need to look in a telephone directory. It is also possible to sample wide geographical areas, even abroad, very easily, and it is sometimes easier to ask and respond to sensitive questions when you do not have to look at the other person.
Although, there are limitations to telephone interviewing. A researcher automatically restricts the sample to those people who own telephones. Admittedly, this is the majority of people today, but the exclusion includes certain types of person, such as the people with physical infirmities, those who are ex-directory, and full-time students away from home. Equally, it is not possible to show the respondent prompts, and it can be difficult to build up a rapport between the interviewer and respondent. The other main problem with telephone interviewing is that so many companies are engaged in it and people become tired of being called at home and asked questions. The number of people who refuse to take part is on the increase.
Many organizations now use computers to assist telephone surveys, and the interviewer will input responses directly into a computer. This technique is known as computer assisted telephone interviewing, or CATI. Inputting directly to computer can make the analysis of quantitative data very rapid and the program can be designed so that it will display only questions that are relevant to particular respondents.
The qualified respondents for this study will be the journalists from various media (broadcast and print) establishments. The respondents were selected as regardless of socio-economic status, religious affiliation, gender, and marital status as long as they are linked and credibly working in any of the media organization. Every participant in the study will be interviewed in the same manner and the data will all be collected in the same way. The timing of when the interviews will take place will also be within one timeframe – e.g. within a span of two weeks. The reason for this is because discrepancies in time could significantly affect the data collected.
The researcher, in choosing subjects or respondents for the topic at hand, is usually thought of to have the power over who the respondents of the study will be. Such a task would have been easier, except a researcher cannot simply choose out of whim; the subjects must be selected carefully with the intention of having subjects who each posses characteristics that, when put together, will represent a community. It is not only themselves, whom these subjects will represent, but the bigger whole or the whole population. The characteristics which the researcher has chosen them for will determine which part of the community they belong and what part of the community they are representing. Thus, the choosing of the subjects must be based on their characteristics.
Data Gathering Method
After making the questions, the researchers will first follow the following steps prior to actual data gathering: 1) The research proposal and a sample of the questionnaire will be presented to a higher ethics committee for approval; 2) A letter of communication will be sent to other appropriate healthcare organizations regarding the study; 3) The researchers will introduce themselves and give adequate explanation of the main objectives of the research proposal: 4) Advises will be solicited from the higher healthcare institutions if comprehensible enough by the actual respondents; 5) Revisions will then be made on the questionnaire; 6) The researchers will select all qualified respondents through random sampling.
Then, the researchers will do the actual data collection following these steps: 1) Formal letters will be sent to the randomly selected respondents asking for informed consent and informing them of the study – the purpose of the study will be explained in general terms and the respondents can then reply with their informed consent and their choice to whether do the interview by questionnaire or by phone; 2) Assurance will be given on anonymity upon the actual data collection; 3) During the data collection, the respondents will be asked to answer a set of questions about clinical healthcare and the challenges that lie ahead – As previously stated, this could be done either through mail or by telephone, whichever is comfortable for the respondent; 4) After the collection of data, the researchers will express their gratitude for the respondents’ answers.
The researchers will use open-ended questionnaires in obtaining the information relevant to this study in order to elicit substantial amount of information. In administering the tool, respondents gathered self-reported information through self-administration of questions in a paper-pencil format. This method is useful in collecting data for the following reasons: (1) subjects were asked to respond to the same set of questions, in the same order, (2) they had the same set of options for their responses, (3) it is economical. In a questionnaire using closed-ended questions, the researcher will offer two alternative replies of true or false from which the subjects chose the one that matched the appropriate answer. The same set of questions will be used for the telephone interview; the only difference is that this time, the questions will be asked orally over the phone to the respondents.
Data analysis employed in the study will be carried out in steps. Every data form will be carefully read in order to have an idea of the whole results concept. The text will then be read again and divided into meaningful units as the researchers see fit. Data will be condensed and formed into syntheses which will be integrated to form the address the research questions. Once the data has been collected and collated, the final task is to interpret the results. It is important to exercise caution when interpreting results and drawing conclusions from data, since it relates only to a sample. The more carefully the sample size and make-up has been selected, the more value the final data will have. However, the results can only ever be a guide and will never predict totally accurately. There will be a certain amount of statistical error in any results and the conclusions drawn from those results.
Data Base of the Study
The research will not be conducted in one research setting but will be at the convenience of the respondents. However, data that will be collected and gathered will be analyzed in the researcher’s house. It will also be in here that the researcher will be calling from and to interview the respondents. The respondents by postal mail will also be advised to send their questionnaires to this place. Here, all the data will be gathered and analyzed into a meaningful whole.
Validity of the Data
In terms of validity, research utilizing qualitative methods can be considered valid. On the broadest sense validity addresses issues about the quality of the data and appropriateness of the methods used in carrying the research. Although reliability and validity issues apply mostly to research results and conclusions, one must consider those issues at the time of the design of the research, i.e. at the earliest stages of the research process, because if you consider them only at the end, it will be too late to gather data on a research question that is of any relevance and quality at all.
The method to be used in this study is the most appropriate one. Data has to be gathered from respondents to support the research’s goal of determining how news is done using new media. Telephone interviews and written interviews by mail can help save costs of going to another place to interview the respondents. Another way of increasing the validity of research consists of showing the research subjects excerpts of interpretation of the interviews. The idea behind this way of increasing validity is that research subjects are in a position to corroborate or disapprove of interpretations. However if the researcher chose to follow a covert, non-participant observation method, he/she cannot ask those you observed, or those he/she “chatted” with to corroborate anything, because they were not even aware that they were being the subject of an investigation.
TASKS TO BE DONE
(June – August 2006)
Selection of topic
Undertake preliminary literature search
Define research questions
Write-up aims and objectives
Select appropriate methodology and locate sources of information
Confirmation of access
Write-up Dissertation Plan
Undertake and write-up draft critical literature review
Secondary and Primary Data Detailed
(including limitations and constraints)
Interviews and Data Gathering
Research findings evaluated and discussed in relation to the literature review
Main body of the report written-up and checked for logical structure
Final format and indexing