Sources of information in the study of social reality
The search stage assumes, firstly, an analysis of the situation under study and the topic of the journalistic work, and secondly, the planning of the organization of work with sources of information. This stage of the journalist's activity is closest to the research search of a scientist studying a particular problem or situation. Effective journalistic activities contribute to the systematization of sources, the creation of files and databases. But, unlike scientific research, journalism requires greater mobility and, as a rule, concentration on particular manifestations - individual facts, events, characters' characters. The range of information sources includes objects of study, as well as those that allow you to supplement, verify or refute the information received. The nature of the sources predetermines the choice of methods for collecting information, the main groups of which are represented by different types of interviews, document analysis and observation.
Expertise in the research of social relations
The survey is a group of methods for collecting primary information, providing, firstly, an oral or written appeal of the researcher to a certain set of people with questions the content of which represents the problem at the level of empirical indicators; secondly, the registration and statistical processing of the responses received, as well as their theoretical interpretation.
Polls (interviews, interviews, discussions, questionnaires, etc.) are used when journalists work with people who are carriers of social information. First of all, they are experts in the field of studying social interactions. An expert is considered to be an expert in any field, a professional who can clearly and logically express his opinions, assessments and judgments. Not every specialist is capable of such communication with a journalist, therefore he must strive to create a kind of "base" experts in different spheres, be able to enter into the confidence of the respondent, arrange it to himself. In an expert interview, the author needs to be able to listen, not to impose his opinions and assessments on the expert. In this interview, the logic of presentation and the expert's point of view is more important than the developed interview plan, since the journalist can not know in advance what information will be important for the continuation of the research and which one will be published.
Individual expert groups in the field of social relations are represented:
- scientists - sociologists, political scientists, economists, culturologists, historians, ethnographers, etc.
- journalists working in the social sphere - publicists-researchers, international experts, analysts, commentators and commentators;
- political personnel associated with the implementation and examination of social policy - political technologists, diplomats, lawyers, employees of the political apparatus.
The appeal to experts is extremely important for a journalist conducting research in the field of social relations and social policy, as it helps to identify trends and patterns of social processes, to see unexpected aspects of phenomena, to understand the nature and significance of events. In interviews with journalist experts, more than single facts and examples should interest new, unexpected twists of the topic, the forecast of the development of events, the hypotheses of the interviewee.
Let's give some recommendations for conducting expert interviews, stated in the work "Elections and journalistic investigation": "During the interview, it is unacceptable to argue with an expert, impose opinions, points of view, assessments on the expert or give him any questions, then setup. It is inadmissible to ask the expert questions that suggest the expected answer. In questions, formulations such as "usually considered", "often spoken", "generally accepted", etc. are inadmissible. One can and should ask only clarifying questions and questions that determine and explain the topic of the conversation, directing it to topics of interest to researchers. Do not impose on the expert some sequence of discussion of the topic: the interview should reveal the logic of the expert, and not the logic of researchers, connections and dependencies, allocated by the expert, and not by the researcher. & lt; ... & gt;
The interview ends when:
- the expert believes that he expressed everything on the topic of interest to us;
- it feels that the expert has nothing to add;
- Constant repetitions began in the expert's comments;
- in the conversation there are no new judgments, new arguments, new theses, etc.
Do not interrupt the expert, even if some judgments or some reasoning have already been revealed in other interviews. Repetitions of judgments and arguments by different experts help to understand the nuances of the problems studied, which can prove extremely important. In addition, the constant repetition of judgments and arguments, the absence of new turns of the topic in regular interviews are an important indicator for making a decision to continue a series of expert interviews. In this situation, one should either turn to experts from other directions, trends or professional groups, or stop the interview if all such trends, trends and groups have already been sufficiently represented in the study. & lt; ... & gt; To achieve a greater level of trust with an expert, a journalist can give him the promise of full confidentiality of the content of the interview. Confidentiality means not only that a journalist will not tell anyone about the fact and content of an interview with a specific expert, but that it will be used only in a generalized way so that professionals can not later establish what exactly this expert told the journalist. Meeting the requirements of confidentiality is a matter of professional ethics and the honor of a journalist, allowing him, in addition, to gradually expand his circle of experts. "
Examination, which is initiated by a journalist in the form of a group discussion (talk show), is a kind of analogue of the Delphi method, "brainstorming". The method consists in the rapid search for solutions, their generation in a team of specialists and the selection of a better solution, based on expert assessments. In sociology, psychology and management theory, this method is used for expert forecasting by organizing a collection system and the mathematical processing of expert estimates.
One example of the use of group discussion in media practice is the talk show "Citizen Gordon", dedicated to the development of a unified system of mutual obligations and requirements for the participants in the 2012 presidential election (broadcast - Channel 1, 2012.19 Feb.). The result of the discussion was the draft "Agreements on Measures of Civil Control over the Observance of Legality in the Conduct of Elections of the President of the United States". The method of focus groups, group focused interview, is similar in form and organization. As an example of the use of this method in the media, we can cite the program "12 Evil Viewers", whose participants viewed the new video clips and gave them their evaluation (the program was broadcast on MTV between 1999 and 2009).
No less important group than experts are participants in social processes. These include:
- direct participants of social interaction in various forms - conflicts, cooperation, commonwealth, etc.
- political figures - representatives of the executive branch, deputies, party leaders, representatives of the opposition;
- Representatives of state bodies in the field - officials, police officers, servicemen;
- representatives of public associations, civil organizations - trade unionists, human rights activists, representatives of diasporas, national, religious and other associations, leaders of public opinion;
- representatives of social groups and strata ("typical representatives"), associations of voters, participants in congresses, rallies and demonstrations.
A separate group consists of witnesses ("observers") of situations of social interaction, historical and socio-political phenomena.Information sources may also be the press secretaries of power structures, political parties and associations, social movements, enterprises, institutions and organizations whose main objective is to facilitate access of journalists to information. However, when a journalist works with the press services, one should consider the possibility of certain problems. Often in the activities of press services there is a lack of understanding of the needs of journalists and the media. There are various barriers to access to information, its filtration and even falsification. The task of the press services is to form a positive image of the organizations that they represent. The information provided by them is supplied in metered quantities and is carefully edited.
Under the law "On the media" (Article 49), the journalist is obliged to maintain the confidentiality of the source of information. Thus, sources are divided into explicit (the journalist refers to them in the text) and latent (hidden) sources. Sometimes the authors refer to the source without indicating it. Not always such references to the source ( from reliable sources & quot ;, our informant reported etc.) are related to compliance with legal requirements. Often journalists try to add the weight of the publication in this way, not paying attention to the fact that the information provided either does not require verification, or in principle can not be verified. For example: "According to information received from Washington, despite aggressive rhetoric, the United States will not be able to launch a large-scale military attack on Iran in the next three months ... (Tomorrow, 2012. No. 3).
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