Using Keyword Search for Media Analysis


This case study focuses on the keyword search method as used to conduct a media content analysis of newspapers. To collect and analyse media portrayals of public safety, my role in the project was to use this method of data collection to aid the evaluation experts on the research team to provide perspectives on crime. This case study discusses the process of keyword search, the complications I experienced and the concerns regarding the use of multiple media formats and search terms, as well as outcomes and issues associated with the search tools used. Using various search tools to conduct a media analysis yielded a range of issues concerning the capture of related articles of interest but also the potential to miss articles based on journalist word choice. This resulted in a quandary: more keywords for more unsuitable references or less keywords and miss some references? Both of these scenarios led to hard-copy searches and point to the potential for human error in this method of media content analysis.

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