What is Research?

Research is essentially looking for information about something. Most of us do what we call research all the time even though we may not think this is research (Berger A, 2014). While applying for university in my first year without even knowing I was doing everyday research. I was asking my friends where they were studying and what courses they were undertaking while also sussing out the best places to eat, party and hang out. Without even knowing I had undertaken some serious research into where I wanted to live and study. However there is a difference between everyday research such as my investigation into where I should study and scholarly research.

According to Berger, 2014; scholarly research is generally more systemic, more objective, more careful and more concerned about correctness and truthfulness than everyday research. (Berger A, 2014).

This research can be broken down again into two sub categories quantitative and qualitative research.

Quality when it comes to texts which are assessed by the media, involve matters such as the text’s properties, degree of excellence, and distinguishing characteristics (Berger A, 2014). This type of research is based around the element of evaluation, judgement and taste. However researchers in this field can be accused of reading too much into texts which therefore develops theories that are not there or can create opinions or interpretations that seem odd, excessive or even idiosyncratic (Berger A, 2014).

The other research method is based around Quantity. This is a different method which relates more to numbers, magnitude, and measurement (Berger A, 2014). Quantitative researchers often encounter a problem because they only count certain things in their research which leads to the case that if something cannot be quantified then it is not of great importance in one’s research (Berger A, 2014). Quantitative researchers are often scrutinised for being too narrow, basing their research on what they count, measure, observe and neglecting other matters (Berger A, 2014).

To simplify this down

Quantitative Research:

  • Counts
  • Measures
  • processes the data that is collected
  • Describes, explains and predicts
  • Finally leads to a hypothesis or theory.

Qualitative Research:

  • Evaluates
  • Uses concepts to explicate
  • Is theoretical
  • Interprets
  • Leads to an evaluation

With social media interaction via the web 2.0 becoming more globally accepted as a first point of call for information, companies and organisation around the world are increasing their social media presence in the hope that they can dominate the chosen media space. Television shows, radio stations and newspapers all now have an online presence be it Twitter, Facebook, Myspace or Instagram. In researching the change from traditional means (print) to social media interactions quantitative and qualitative research methods would be use to collect data on both sides which will allow a better understanding as to why traditional media is being replaced with social media.

Reference List:

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

ACMA 2014, Supply & demand: catch-up TV leads Australians’ online video use

Ellis, Katie 2014, ‘Television’s transition to the internet: disability accessibility and broadband-based TV in Australia ‘, Media international Australia, vol. 153, no. November, pp. 53-63


One thought on “What is Research?

  1. Very comprehensive introduction to the concept of media research and the topic of traditional vs new media. How was it you were intending to explore this ? For example quantitative research in a survey or qualitative in interviews, or maybe a bit of both?

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