Media Research: Ch. 11

Content Analysis
Analysis of texts of various types
Eg: Writing, images, recordings, cultural artifacts

Questions Content Analysis can answer
Examine communication messages and attributes
Compare media depictions to reality
Assess corporate or personal images as presented in the media
Make inferences about message producers, audiences or effects when used in conjunction with other data

Advantages of content analysis
Relatively easy access to sources
Human participants’ approvals aren’t required

Disadvantages of content analysis
Limited in what it can study
May not be as objective as it claims
It can be time consuming

Steps 1 of content analysis
Develop a hypothesis or research question about communication content
Analyze content of messages such as media messages
Measure how info is exchanged through text or media messages (quantitative content analysis)
Analyze the content of interpersonal messages
Measure how info is exchanged interpersonally (interaction analysis)

Step 2 of content analysis
Define the content to be analyzed
Sample universe of content (determine population of messages)
Select units for coding (locate available sampling units)
Sampling units: the units from a larger population of content that you need to study (timeframe, segment of text)

Step 3 of content analysis
Collect your data through observation
Decide recording units
Recording units: the individual parts of a sampling unit you are examining
Develop codes: Decide what to evaluate in each coding unit to answer your research questions and hypotheses

Step 4 of content analysis
Code your data
Principles for writing codes dx
Create codes that are applicable to all coding units
The coding categories should be exhaustive
Coding categories should be mutually exclusive
The number of categories for each code should be manageable

Step 5 of content analysis
Analyze your data

Coder training
Inter-coder reliability
Change agreement: the likelihood the two coders will agree on their coding judgements

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