Qualitative Multi-Method Research: Media Social Responsibility


In 2004, I started to contemplate a PhD thesis concerning how social media tools and culture affect media organisations, with regard to corporate social responsibility. Back then in Greece, social media and media corporate responsibility were not fully developed as concepts or practices, but a new era in media and communication was beginning: both the technological revolution and the financial and credibility crisis had begun. My study, which concluded in 2010, evolved alongside the development of social media and social responsibility, meaning I had to keep track of the constant changes. During my PhD, I was also working in Greek Public Broadcasting in the newly formed department of corporate social responsibility. In my effort to gather as much data as I could, I applied a combination of qualitative methodology techniques: interviews, case study analysis, comparative analysis and participant observation. This case study provides my personal experience of using several methodological tools and sheds light on the particular challenges I faced during my research. Interviews with professional journalists as well as participant observation, especially when the researcher is affiliated with the organisation of observation, are discussed. Finally, I address some thoughts on the use of a mixed scheme of methodological techniques.

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