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*Dr Amit k Singh **Mili Singh
Study of communication as subject is new in comparison to other subject of social sciences and natural sciences. The study of communication is generally branched under social sciences. So the methods of communication research are adopted from social research. Communications research undertakes the scientific study of communication process. It is objective, deterministic and parsimonious. The study of communication is multidisciplinary so its research method can be also adopted from behavioral science, natural science and management keeping its root with social sciences. Media is emerging as industry and its products are available with the price tag attached with them and its audience as market leading to the use of market research methods for media studies. In short communication research adopted its methods from various disciplines. Areas of communication research- communication research deals with the study of communication process so it working areas are “the elements of communication process”.
1. 2. 3.
Sender /communicator /source research Message /text research Channel/media research
4. Receiver/ audience research 5. Effect Research The above macro elements of communication process provide the wide area for research. These macro elements are analyzed in micro elements which provide selected field for communication studies. Berlo’s SMCR model analyzed these macro element in micro elements. 1. Source/communicator research- source has been analyzed as
a) Communication skill b) Attitude c) Knowledge d) Social system e) Culture
To understand the nature of particular communicator these micro elements can provide the area of study to the communication researcher. For example if the research look for the essential characteristics of good reporter, editor or other media personnel he can study these above elements. Also other characteristics such as credibility, expertise, intent and attractiveness can also be judged. Yale communication research group of USA Hovland and Weiss conducted an experiment in which they presented an identical communication to two groups. But the message was attributed to high and low credibilility sources. It was considered to be more biased and unfair when it was attributed to low credibility source. The high credibility source has greater immediate effect on opinion of the audience than low credibility source. Message M is tagged with low credibility source as Ml Message M is tagged with high credibility source as Mh M
CONSIDERED BAISED AND UNFAIR
Thus the same message attributed to different credibility source produce different reactions.
2. Message /content /text research- message is analyzed as a) Element b) Structure c) Content d) Treatment e) Code Message is most important element which has the above micro element which provides the basic field for research work. 3. Channel/media research- though SMCR has analyzed the channel having following microelements:a) Seeing b) Hearing c) Touching d) Smelling e) Tasting Based on the reception patterns of above senses media is divided into visual, audio and audio-visual. These media are the field of investigation and their effectiveness for particular campaign. 4. Receiver / audience research-This micro element of communication is studied maximum for market purpose. Advertisers are manufactures find their prospective customer of their product out of media audience so they encourage and fund the audience research. Receiver perceives the message send by the source using the following microelements.
a) Communication skill b) Attitude c) Knowledge d) Social system e) Culture 5. Effect research-SMCR model does not describe the effect element of communication. But it is one of the most sought offer research field in communication research. Sociologist, Psychologist, Advertisers Parents all are worried about the effect of media on the adoption of culture, behavior, attitude formation, buying pattern etc of audience. Content Analysis in Communication Research- After knowing the basic fields/areas of communication research we try to find out how content analysis is used in these areas. According to Bernard Berelson content analysis is “a research technique for objective, systematic and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication.” According to Klaus Krippendorff in his book ‘Content Analysis: An introduction to its Methodology’ ‘In any single written message one can count letters, words or sentences. One can categorize phrases, describe the logical structure of expressions, ascertain association, connotation, denotation, elocutionary forces and one can also offer psychiatric, sociological or political interpretations. All of these may be simultaneously valid. In short, a message may convey a multitude of contents even to a single receiver.’ Content analysis follows a systematic process for coding and drawing inferences from the texts. It starts by determining which units of data will be analyzed. In written or verbal texts, data, units are of four types.
Syntactical units- these units can be words, phrase, sentences or paragraphs. Words are the smallest and reliable data unit.
Referential units are described by words, phrases and sentences; they may be objects, events, persons to which the text refers. Propositional units are assertions about an object, event, person and so on Thematic units are topic contained within text; they represent higher level abstractions inferred from the text and its context.
Use of content analysis to study the source- content analysis of an informal interview conducted to the employees of newspaper. The main question asked ‘How might the newspaper house increase its circulation?’ The sample of response yielded as follows.
We should keep readers priority over advertiser’s priority.
♦ We should switch to new printing technology. ♦ We should change our newspaper’s layout and give it a new look. ♦ We should increase encouraging feedback. the reader’s involvement by
♦ We should invite reader’s suggestion for ‘what they want to read’? ♦ We should provide training to the cub journalist and refresher programs for the old employee. ♦ Freedom should be given promotional campaign. to sales department for
The first step in analysis requires that the units selected or developed help to answer the research question. In our example the research question is concerned with the learning what the employees think is the source for increasing circulation. The 1st pas through the data produces the few general categories in one
concept dimension: source of responsibility is shown in table. The response can be categories as
Locus of responsibility Frequency(n=100)
Human relation Training Technology Strategic planning Other areas of action 30 10 10 40 10
Thus the above table can be analyzed to give the result of the particular research. Using content analysis the communication contents like speech, written text, interviews, images, cartoon, and movies can be coded. These coding leads the communication content in the form of machine readable text, the input is analysed for frequencies and coded into the categories for building up inferences. The methods of coding show high reliability. Many software are available for coding, the research can spend much less time coding the text. What used to take the coding staff several days may now be done in few hours. Content analysis software applies statistical algorithms to open-ended question responses. This permit stemming, aliasing and exclusion process. Stemming uses derivations of common root words to create aliases (e.g. using searching, searches, searched for search). Aliasing searches for synonym (wise or smart for intelligent). Exclusion filters out trivial words (be, is, the, of) in search for meaning. Use of content analysis for message research- early content analysis was limited to the measuring of space provided by the newspaper/ magazine on particular topic i.e. coverage given to an event. The comparative study of regional and national daily on the coverage and importance they give to a particular event. Using content analysis biasness in coverage and slant in the view can also be inferred. Content analysis is done to show how women are represented in media. Content analysis methodology was adopted to show in Indian television women are stereotyped as
house wife. If working they are shown working as secretaries, airhostesses, school teacher, receptionist etc. Use of content analysis in Channel /media research-content analysis of channel/ media is done to study their effectiveness of a particular campaign. Advertisers do media research for best suited medium for their campaign before putting their advertisement in particular media. Many research works had done using content analysis to study television violence. A content analysis conducted by a team lead by Professor George Gerbner of University of Pennsylvania in 1976, found that around 80% of all program contained one or two violent incidence. The violence shown was far from realistic. For example, televisions beating produce little visible pain; the details of injury were shown in 14% of all programs. Such portrayal made it difficult for viewers to appreciate the downside of violent behavior. Violence rather than the rule of law was depicted as the solution to the problem in 80% of the cases. In investigating the actual world of violence, the commission found that only tiny percentage of population had any real experience with the violence as victim, assailant or observer. From this the research concluded that violence was depicted unrealistically on TV when compare to real life. Use of content analysis in audience and effect researchaudience research is very important for manufacturers, advertisers, media and politicians. Sociologist and psychologist are also worried about the shaping of media audience and effect of media on them. Dr. Fredic Wertham’s ,a psychiatrist in 1950’s conducted a content analysis that documented a gory details found in comics. He reproduced the cover of one comic, which depicted two men tied up and dragged, face down, behind a speeding car. There were two hoodlums in the car, with their dialogue in the balloons. The driver says, ’these -%*@^# gravel roads are tough on tires!’ The other says, “but ya gotta admit, there is nothing like’ em for ERASING FACES!” Wertham provided examples of what he said were the many way comics taught kids techniques for committing crime. Wertham’s
research later considered unscientific but extremely influential in 1950s. Conclusion-content analysis provides a strong instrument to learn and understand all the aspects of communication process. It not only provides with the tool for quantitative study of media contents but also qualitative study. Content analysis consists with the research and investigative question that we select and want to export to a data file or in tab-delimited format. The table and plots, serves as the modules for final report. With the advent of software coding techniques the work of coding becomes easy and more reliable making the study more scientific. References B.Berelson, Content Analysis in Communication Research, Free Press, New York,1952. Klaus Krippenendorff, Content Analysis : An Introduction to its Methodology, Sage Publication, Beverly Hill, CA,1980. Cooper Donald R. and Schindler Pamela S, Bussiness Research Methods, McGraw-Hill/Irwin,NY,2006. Rodman George, Making Sense of Media: An Introduction to Mass Communication, Allyn & Bacon, Needham Heights, MA,2001 Gupta Baldev Raj, Modern Journalism and Mass Communication, Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Varansi,1997 Cothari C R, Research Methodology,Wishwa Prakashan ,New Delhi ,2002. John W.Best and James V.Kahn, “Research in Education”, PrenticeHall of India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi,1986.
*lecturer in Department of Management Mizoram University **Research Scholar in Mahamana Malaviya Institute of Hindi Journalism, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, varansi.
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