Qualitative Research Methods for Media Studies  book cover
2nd Edition

Qualitative Research Methods for Media Studies

ISBN 9781138219229
Published June 14, 2017 by Routledge
254 Pages

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Book Description

Qualitative Research Methods for Media Studies provides students and researchers with the tools they need to perform critically engaged, theoretically informed research using methods that include interviewing, focus groups, historical research, oral histories, ethnography and participant observation, textual analysis and online research. Each chapter features step-by-step instructions that integrate theory with practice, as well as a case study drawn from published research demonstrating best practices for media scholars. Readers will also find in-depth discussions of the challenges and ethical issues that may confront researchers using a qualitative approach. Qualitative research does not offer easy answers, simple truths or precise measurements, but this book provides a comprehensive and accessible guide for those hoping to explore this rich vein of research methodology.

With new case studies throughout, this new edition includes updated material on digital technologies, including discussion of doing online research and using data to give students the tools they need to work in today’s convergent media environment.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Getting Started

Chapter 2 - Doing Qualitative Research

Chapter 3 - Interviewing

Chapter 4 - Focus Groups

Chapter 5 - History

Chapter 6 - Oral History

Chapter 7 - Ethnography and Participant Observation

Chapter 8 - Textual Analysis



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Bonnie S. Brennen is the Nieman Professor of Journalism in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University. Her research focuses on the intersection between labor and journalism history as well as on relationships between media, culture and society. She is the author of For the Record: An Oral History of Rochester, New York Newsworkers, and a novel, Contradictions. She is editor of Assessing Evidence in a Postmodern World and co-editor, with Hanno Hardt, of the American Journalism History Reader, Picturing the Past: Media, History & Photography and Newsworkers: Toward a History of the Rank and File. In October 2015 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


"Written in clear, jargon-free language, this remarkable and engaging textbook is extraordinarily valuable for beginners and experienced qualitative researchers. Brennen deftly makes complex concepts accessible and understandable, giving students the skills and the courage to undertake challenging research studies." –Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism

"Brennen covers the breadth of qualitative research in media studies thoroughly and accessibly, drawing on numerous examples to knit together the conceptual concerns of method with the practical experiences of research in action. This is a valuable text for both students new to research to learn the craft of qualitative research and for prompting even the most experienced researchers with helpful conceptual and practical reminders towards its best practices." –Jason Pridmore, Erasmus University

Praise for the First Edition

"Bonnie Brennen—one of the most distinguished scholars in the field—offers readers a lucid, rigorous and detailed account of how to conduct qualitative research studies, employing the evidence derived from interviews, focus groups, oral histories, ethnography and textual analysis, as well as case studies of published research which highlight good practice and activities and exercises relating to each identified approach. Qualitative Research Methods in Media Studies slays the myth concerning the supposed supremacy of quantitative approaches to research. The result is a landmark text which will be essential reading for students of media and journalism studies."Bob Franklin, Professor of Journalism Studies, Cardiff University, UK