Documentary sources in the research of social relations...

Documentary sources in the research of social relations

In addition to communicating with people who are carriers of information, a journalist almost always has to turn to documentary sources and resort to various forms of document analysis. The document is one of the sources used in sociological research to obtain primary empirical information. It is a testimony of facts, events, phenomena of objective reality and human thought activity, the fixing of which is done in various ways on different material carriers. A document is a fixed reality, documentary sources mediate relations between people.

It is especially important for a journalist to know the provisions of normative documents - and as regulators of information gathering and dissemination activities and as direct sources of information. The normative documents include: the Constitution and laws of the United States, codes, international law documents, presidential decrees, government decrees, decisions of regional authorities, etc. When referring to the regulatory framework, one should take into account not only the horizontal structure of power (executive, legislative and judicial) but also vertical, i.e. use the acts of the subjects of the Federation, departmental documents, documents of individual organizations and institutions. A great help to a journalist who, as a rule, does not have a legal education, is provided with comments on normative documents.

An analysis of the appeals of journalists to normative documents makes it possible to identify problems of covering legal issues in the media. One of them is simplification of the phenomena under consideration, the other is the contradictory nature of the interests of the subjects of interaction and, accordingly, the discrepancies in legal acts and their interpretations. Despite these problems, the journalist's appeal to normative documents is also important because this creates the legal context of the publication (and not only the estimated ethical, immanently inherent in journalism), the legal culture of the audience is being cultivated.

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A separate group of documentary sources addressed by journalists is made up of materials selected on the basis of subject presentation, as they pursue the goal not so much to present objectified information, or the subject (including the author) in a certain way. Such sources include, for example, press releases, election campaign materials, programs and statutes of political parties and movements, election campaign materials (leaflets, audio and video recordings of speeches), PR materials, etc.

Unfortunately, even sociological research materials are often subjected to a similar transformation in the media. About how the results of interviews in the press can be presented, NN Kolodiev writes: "An example is a provocative but very important publication on the pages of the weekly Vlast, a diagram illustrating the results of an online survey conducted by journalists of this publication. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the decision by the US government to bombard terrorist bases, visitors to the site of the Vlast Journal were asked: "Would you, would you have been struck by whom?" And were offered , among others, the following options for answers: "for the United States," "throughout the Arab world," "throughout the West," etc. A diagram reflecting the results of this, so to speak, poll, was later published in the journal as an appendix to the anonymous material "Time Has Passed" (Vlast, 2001, No. 39).

The use of media materials - publications in the press, radio and television programs, network resources - is possible both as an information occasion and as a separate group of information sources. The study of media materials is a necessary part of the training of journalists, sociologists, editorial staff, researchers of mass communication. Journalists and editors of the study of mass media are needed, firstly, as a tool for analyzing the activities of typologically similar media in the information market, and secondly, as an information reason that requires prompt response (it is difficult to imagine a socio-political publication without polemical headings "For and against "," Duel "," Discussion Club ", etc., the information of which is largely derived from the materials of other media). One of the scientifically proven methods of text research is the method of content analysis.

Content analysis (content analysis) is a research technique for obtaining conclusions by analyzing the content of the text about the states and properties of social reality (in particular, the source of the message text). There are two types of content analysis, depending on the nature of the presentation of the content of the text - non-quantitative and quantitative. Non-quantitative content analysis is based on the non-frequency model of the content of the text (only the presence of an element of content - an indicator of the corresponding category) is recorded. Quantitative content analysis is based on the use of measures of frequency, repeatability (intensity), volume. Its tasks - to determine the quantitative structure of the content of the text within the used system of analysis categories.

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Q. E. Semenov identifies the main areas of application of content analysis in socio-psychological research. First, the study of the socio-psychological characteristics of communicators (persons transmitting messages, authors) through the content of their messages. One type of study of this kind is comparative studies of personality types and values ​​in different societies and cultures. Secondly, the study of real social and psychological phenomena of the object, which are reflected in the content of messages (including phenomena that occurred in the past and are not available for research by other methods). Particular interest in this regard is the analysis of works of literature and art, as well as journalism. Thirdly, the study of various means of communication through the content of messages, as well as features of forms and methods of organizing content, including propaganda. Fourth, the study of the socio-psychological characteristics of recipients (recipients of communication, the audience). This makes sense only when it is known that the communicator (the author of the message) represents the recipient fairly faithfully. Fifthly, the study of socio-psychological aspects of the impact of communication on recipients through the content of messages.

In empirical and applied research, content analysis is used to study the content of texts of various types - media, books, oral speeches, letters, diaries, official documents. It should be noted that this procedure is applicable to the study of images (for example, photographs, paintings, movies, videos, etc.). The use of content analysis makes sense only when comparing, comparing several information flows: two or more media; statistical or sociological data obtained during the survey; film and video materials, etc.

Content analysis of media materials is an indirect indicator of public interest in a person, type, theme, etc. The analysis of information appearing on the Internet and causing high interest of users, affects the formation of the "agenda" in the media, the appearance in the press, radio and television of new topics, stories, actors. The study of media materials with the help of content analysis allows you to determine the state of society: how much the situation in it is stable and stressful. One of the most frequently used cases of application of content analysis in journalistic practice is the calculation of the number of the most frequently used words and stable expressions in public statements of statesmen. Such analysis gives grounds for conclusions about more or less priority areas of political activity.

One of the variants of computer statistical analysis of texts that allows you to calculate how many times a category or phrase occurs in the text (usually with the extension .txt, .htm or .html) is Wordstat, with which you can obtain general statistics on several processed files. The study of media materials with the help of an information and analytical system underlies the work of the Public.Ru database. Users Public. Ru can independently look for publications, prepare press reviews, conduct statistical analysis of data with reports in the form of graphs and tables for any given period.

Analyzing the speech of public figures is one of the priorities of using the method of intent analysis. Intent analysis - a study of speech that allows you to determine the intentions of the speaker, reconstruct the speaker's intentions by his speech, and also the method of studying the psychological content of the text, which consists in expert evaluation of the target (intentional) the direction of speech of public figures, expressed in a specific text. The application of the content analysis allows answering questions about the author's psychological state, ways of using the language, on the one hand, limiting the ability of the author of the text to adequately and fully verbalize his subjective states and, on the other hand, limiting the reader's ability to adequately understand the author. The method of the content analysis is accompanied by the so-called "expert reading", when the experts evaluate the content of the text, based on the fact that the author's personality is adequately expressed in his written or oral speech.

Documentary sources, without which it is impossible to imagine the work of modern journalists and which are traditionally used in the preparation of materials, are information agencies data. The largest of them in our country is ITAR -TASS and RIAN (United States News Agency News ).

Over time, non-state ("Interfax", "Postfactum", etc.) and regional news agencies ("North-West", "Rosbalt", IMA-PRESS, "Sibinform" and " other). Materials disseminated by news agencies, as a rule, differ in factuality, lack of author's commentary and individual style, mandatory indication of the source of the message.

Among the other documentary sources, that investigative journalists use, are:

- scientific works - research reports, philosophical and theoretical works, monographs, textbooks and manuals, articles, conference materials and "round tables";

- works of art - literary works, film and video films, musical works, works of art creation

- personal documents - memoirs, memoirs, diaries, autobiographies, characteristics.

As a special type, we highlight journalistic studies related to the study of historical sources : primary (official documents) and secondary (reports, interviews, journalistic materials, etc.). In this case, the analysis is subjected to a topic selected on the basis of the parameters: 1) the actor, 2) the person who perceives the action, 3) the nature of the action, 4) one hundred goals.

When studying historical, archival documents that are used as sources, it is very important to prove the reliability of the facts stated in them. As general recommendations when working with this type of source, the following methods are suggested:

- a superficial reading of the text of the document (viewing the video), its evaluation from the position of the reader of the press (the viewer of the program), in which the document is made public;

- an analysis of what is missing in the document (what information requires specification);

- the definition of forces (political, intellectual, cultural, etc.), the point of view of which is expressed by the author of the document;

- definition of document functions (for whom and for what purpose it was created);

- checking the conformity of the design, vocabulary and style of the document with the norms adopted during its manufacture.

To assess the reliability of information in documents, the following requirements must be met:

a) take into account the goals and intentions of the drafters of the document;

b) distinguish the description of events and their evaluation;

c) compare the target documents (they are more tendentious, since they are created with the aim of influencing the addressee) and "natural";

d) take into account the increase in the distortion of information in secondary documents.

Confidence is possible if the message does not affect the author's interests, is not the subject of his addictions, if the testimony is damaging to the author, has the character of confession, or the data at the time of recording were generally known or not significant from the author's point of view, but significant for researcher. Confidence also causes a message conflicting with the author's intended installations of the author & quot ;. It should be noted that these comments can be attributed to the assessment of the reliability of information obtained by interviewing an actor of a journalistic work or by analyzing its documents and records.

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