Media Research: An introduction

JMSC6046 - Media research: concepts and methods
JMSC0065 - Media research: an introduction
Spring 2013 Thursday 1830-2125 (EH101 & JMSC Digital Lab)
Office hours:
Dr. King-Wa Fu
Eliot Hall Room 206
by email appointment
Are you interested in designing a public opinion poll on a hot topic in town? Do you want to
analyze media coverage of election campaign? Ever wondered how to assess the impact of
Facebook use on interpersonal relation? If your answer is yes to any of the above, this course is
designed for you.
This course is offered for journalism or non-journalism major students (both undergraduate and
postgraduate levels) who are interested in researching media contents, communication processes,
or media “prosumer”. The course covers qualitative and quantitative methods in media research,
including content analysis, survey, in-depth interview, secondary data analysis, and experimental
methods. This course also covers the hand-on training of software package SPSS for quantitative
data analysis.
The goal of the course is to develop an introductory level of proficiency that enables students to
understand basic approaches to conducting media research, aiming to help students prepare
themselves for perusing a further advanced research degree as well as careers in media and
communication business, consultancy, government and policy research – any field where
research skills are needed and appreciated.
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
Describe and outline major media research concepts.
Apply the media research concepts to guide your thinking and analysis on the media.
Identify research questions by referring to media concepts.
Define and outline steps of major research methodologies.
Formulate research plan with research methodologies.
Collect and analyze empirical data to address specific research questions.
Interpret research data for specific research inquiries.
Organize your research plan and research findings.
Course outline
Introduction (1 week, Jan 24)
Process of media research (1 week, Jan 31)
Quantitative content analysis (2 weeks, Feb 7 & 21) – procedures, reliability, and validity,
concepts and variables
Survey (3 weeks, Feb 28, Mar 21 & 28) – sampling, questionnaire design, validation, and
panel design
Measuring media use (1 week, Apr 11)
Experimental design (1 weeks, Apr 18) – various designs
Qualitative research methods (1 week, Apr 25)
Student presentations (1 weeks, May 2)
Assigned reading (2 papers every week)
Lesson plan: Lecturing (the first hour), in-class activities (the second hour), and SPSS
training (the third hour, at the JMSC Digital Lab)
Your grade will be based on: Class/Lab attendance/participation (20%), SPSS worksheets (20%,
due date: next session), research proposal (10%, due date: Mar 21), final paper (30%, due date:
May 9) and final presentation (20%, May 2). Each of the intended learning outcomes listed
above will be used as assessment criteria to evaluate your works.
Attendance requirements and academic honesty
Attendance and reading required texts before each class are mandatory. Plagiarism is considered
as serious offence and the offender will be dropped from the class with a failing grade. Please
check HKU guideline of plagiarism
International Encyclopedia of Communication Online
Analyzing media messages [electronic resource]: using quantitative content analysis in research /
Daniel Riffe, Stephen Lacy, Frederick G. Fico.
HKU Library
Wimmer, Roger D., Dominick, Joseph R. (1997) Mass media research: an introduction. 9th
edition. Wadsworth. Call number: 302.23072 W757 m
Jensen, Klaus Bruhn. (2002) A handbook of media and communication research: qualitative and
quantitative methodologies. London; New York: Routledge. Call number: 302.23072 H2 J
Priest, Susanna Hornig. (1996) Doing media research: an introduction. Thousand Oaks, Calif.:
Sage Publications Call number: 302.23072 P94