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January 7, 2015 / C H Thompson

Content analysis

Content analysis involves the analysis of ‘messages’ in mass media content (secondary sources) which can generate both quantitative and qualitative data.

The sociologist can analyse any form of media content such as TV reports; newspaper reports; magazine content etc in order to see how a social group or social situation is portrayed.

The Glasgow University Media Group used this method to study TV news reports on industrial action so they could assess the content. Their study produced statistic evidence of television’s biases by portraying management in a positive light as more rational individuals while the workers in a negative way and so less rational.

This occurred through managers being interviewed in calm surroundings while the workers were often reported in nosier environments.

Have a go at assessing the SkyNews clip below. Evaluate the effect of the protester’s dress. Compare that with the journalists. Is the protester at a disadvantage being on his own when there’s two journalists asking him questions?

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