As humans, we are curious beings. We have spent years researching and trying to find out more about the world around us. So, it comes as no surprise that these days, with media playing a greater role in society than it ever has before, that there is great need for media research.
So what is media research? Research itself means to search for or to find (Berger, 2014), meaning media research is to find out more about anything related to the media. However, because the term media is so vast, media research can cover a range of differing subjects, some examples being, digital media, entertainment media, how media use has changed over time, the affects of media on societies, and how media is regulated just to name a few.
When it comes any type of research it can be either everyday research or scholarly research. Whether you realise it or not, everyday media research is very common, it could be asking someone a question as simple as “what are some good TV shows to watch”? It’s simply asking one or many informal questions to another in attempt to find out information to help you make a personal decision.
There is also a great deal of scholarly media research that is being done for numerous reasons. As opposed to every day research, scholarly research is considered more to be more systematic, objective and has a greater focus on truthfulness (Berger, 2014).
When it comes to actually conducting research, there are two different ways of doing it.
Firstly there is quantitative research, which is research that involves, evaluating, interpreting results and judging provided answers (Berber, 2014). This type of research can provide results that go into greater depth, however it can risk being interpreted wrongly, thus providing inaccurate research.
The other type of research is qualitative research. This research uses numbers and measurements and statistics and experiments to gain results (Berber, 2014). This research is often very accurate but can sometimes be too narrow to allow for a more accurate result.
For me, there are some media research topics that I would be interested in researching.
With social media being such a big part of my every day life, I would be very interested in researching anything to do with, but in particular, the roles it is now playing in young people’s social lives, or university student’s lives and their studies.
Another topic that I would find very interesting to research and is closely linked to what I have just previously mentioned is media effects. This would be in attempt to see whether differing types of media do actually have an effect on the people using them, and if so what. An example using some of the most common debates surrounding media effects is do video games cause violence? And is media’s portrayal of the female body causing a rise in eating disorders?
Berger, A. 2014, ‘What is research?’, Media and communication research methods : an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches, no. 3, pp. 13- 32, viewed 17 April 2015, <https://tr.uow.edu.au/uow/file/efbbb3eb-460f-4c9c-9a32-bff4e80e1468/1/What%20is%20research.pdf>.