Do newspaper politics impact on reporting of rape?

Do newspaper politics impact on reporting of rape?

Order Description

The Question is..

Do newspaper politics impact on reporting of rape?

This is suitable because it has a comparative element (different types of media texts) and the question can be researched through categories:
e.g. :

pick one right-wing newspaper and one left-wing newspaper
develop categories such as types of rape covered (stranger rape; acquaintance rape; drug-assisted rape); perpetrators identified (partners; ex-partners; strangers

etc); resolution (unsolved; resolved); cause of rape (e.g. alone at night; too drunk; short skirts; random); blame (e.g. victim; perpetrator; police) etc

I Will Upload a Unit handbook that clearly states the requirements for this project. You should eventually follow the Stages from 1 to 7 in order to complete the

project successfully. In addition the total should be no more than 2500 ( Including The Content Analysis Table ). The Question requires me to look many samples of two

types of news papers as said above.

Media Project Handbook:
Content Analysis

Crime and Media

Anneke Meyer & Katie Milestone
Department of Sociology


This is a guide to completing your media projects in Term 1.
It uses one example as a guide to how you can do a piece of content analysis on the representation of crime in the media (based on several episodes of Eastenders).

It also includes ‘Project Report Guidelines’ below, giving you details of how to complete the written report and the criteria for assessment.

Project Report

Your report is based on the findings from a piece of research you will complete on the media representation of crime using a ‘Content Analysis’ method. This will be

completed individually.

This  ‘Content Analysis Handbook’ outlines how to develop your projects and complete the research using a content analysis method.

There are two important deadlines to observe:

•    You should submit a progress report on your work by Friday 21st November. This is not formally assessed but will give tutors the opportunity to give you

important written feedback on your chosen research topic and approach before you continue to complete the work.

•    Final Project Reports should be submitted by the Coursework Deadline 9 February 2014.

Progress Report & Seminar Presentations

The progress report must be submitted in order to continue with your content analysis research. The intention of completing a progress report is to get written

feedback on how you are approaching the research and for the tutors to identify early any problems you may be encountering – it is not part of your assessment mark.
The Progress Report must be no more than 500 words. The Report should identify the following:

•    Chosen topic/issue
•    The research question you are seeking to answer
•    What is your sample? (size, composition & timescale)
•    Approach you are taking i.e. tasks agreed on
•    Some examples of categories and codes you are using
•    Problems you have identified

Summary: Content Analysis

Content analysis (CA) is a media research tool for examining the content of specific media ‘texts’ (e.g.; news bulletins, soap operas, newspapers, adverts). The aim of

using it is to produce data which provides a specific measurement of media content. In the literature you will sometimes see a difference identified between

quantitative and qualitative content analysis. This project is primarily concerned with quantitative content analysis.

In content analysis, measurement is of specific aspects of the media text e.g.: images, themes, features, representations, topics, issues. You, the researcher, defines

which aspects you wish to analyse. A popular use of CA is to examine stereotypes in the media, especially around class, race, gender, sexuality, age, disability.

CA has often been used to monitor the media in relation to perceived bias or distortion, for instance the researchers at the Glasgow University Media Group have

analysed representations of industrial disputes, famine, war, peace, terrorism, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, child sexual abuse, and many other issues (see your reading


CA can be a tool to quantify the output of the media. The intention is to focus on the obvious, surface, ‘messages’ that are produced – concentrating on words, phrases

and images within the media content. You define the specific aspects you are examining, count how many times they occur in your media text, and draw simple statistics

about the frequency of these representations.

Obviously, to draw conclusions about the overall bias of the media, you would need a reasonably large sample, monitored over time. Your seminar project however, will

enable you to do a small scale piece of CA with the intention of illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of this research tool.

Research topics: suitable vs unsuitable

Not all topics are suitable to be studied through content analysis because it is a quantitative method. That means you need to identify a topic and question where the

material is manifest and can be quantified through categories.

Ask yourself this of your project idea/question:
•    Can I obtain significant numbers of media texts to produce a sizable sample?
•    Can my media material be counted and compared?
•    Is the content manifest/obvious with little/no room for interpretation?
•    Can the topic be researched through categories and codes?
The answers should be yes!

Good, suitable ideas:

•    Are there differences between how the police are portrayed in reality crime shows and fictional dramas?

This is suitable because it has a comparative element (different types of media texts) and the question can be researched through categories:
pick one reality TV show (e.g. Cops with Cameras) and one Drama (e.g. The Killing)
analyse a set number of episodes
develop categories to tests your question: e.g. how often are they shown to do paperwork? How often are they shown out of the office? What kinds of crimes do they

tackle (violent crime; petty crime etc)?

•    Does Eastenders show crime to be a particularly male activity?

This is suitable because it has a comparative element (male vs female) the question can be researched through categories:
develop categories such as crimes shown (theft; violence; sexual abuse etc); who commits crime (men; women) etc

•    Do newspaper politics impact on reporting of rape?

This is suitable because it has a comparative element (different types of media texts) and the question can be researched through categories:
e.g. :
pick one right-wing newspaper and one left-wing newspaper
develop categories such as types of rape covered (stranger rape; acquaintance rape; drug-assisted rape); perpetrators identified (partners; ex-partners; strangers

etc); resolution (unsolved; resolved); cause of rape (e.g. alone at night; too drunk; short skirts; random); blame (e.g. victim; perpetrator; police) etc

Bad, unsuitable ideas

Certain topics and ideas just cannot be researched through quantitative methods very easily or in a meaningful way. This is usually because they are concerned with

in-depth, latent meanings. For example, rather unsuitable projects would be:

•    In-depth case studies where content is difficult to measure through categories

e.g. how did the media represent the terrorist atrocities in Norway?
This is too qualitative a question, asking you to look into in-depth linguistic choices, interpret meanings etc

•    In-depth case studies where you cannot study a sufficient number of media texts in order to produce a solid amount of ‘counts’ of categories

e.g. how do horror films portray violence?
You do not have the time to watch a sufficient number of these films to get a good sample and it is, again, a qualitative question

•    Research questions asking about latent content, such as atmospheres, sentiments, moods and other highly interpretive/ subjective/evaluative things (e.g.

panics; obsession; bias; sensationalism; demonisations).

e.g. Is Crimewatch sensationalising crime?
e.g. are the BBC biased in their coverage of the Jimmy Savile case?

Unsuitable because latent content is so difficult to categorise (e.g. what indicates ‘panic’ or ‘bias’?) and categories themselves are highly interpretive, impossible

to define objectively and mean different things to different people (e.g. it is very contested what indicates a sensational treatment of an issue)

Planning your content analysis

In order to plan your CA you should address the following.

1.    What type of crime representation will you primarily examine? This should be either – a specific CRIME, OFFENDER or type of LAW ENFORCEMENT.

2.    Which media will you research? This should be either – NEWSPAPERS, TV DRAMA, ‘SOAP’ DRAMA, DOCUMENTARY, TV NEWS, RADIO NEWS, FILMS OR MAGAZINES.

3.    Within your choice you should identify what you are going to compare – for example two different soap operas, or two different newspapers. You should explain

why this particular comparison has been chosen.

4.    Will you compare two different types of media? e.g. TV news and Newspapers. You do not have to do this. However if you do, you should explain why this

particular comparison has been chosen.
5.    How much of your chosen media output will you try to collect and examine over what time period? E.g. Two contrasting Daily newspapers over a 3 week period.

6.    What are trying to identify (quantify) in your CA? This should address – HOW MUCH and HOW OFTEN, and with WHICH STEREOTYPES.

Use the example given in the next section to reflect on these points.

Example of crime content analysis

The following example can be used as a short hand guide for a ‘how to’ approach.

Stage 1:
Decide on your sample – which media text and how much of it? This has to relate to an overall question you wish to pose about your media text.

Example – Sample size:
Several episodes of ‘Eastenders’ (TV soap), broadcast concurrently over a 3 week period (6 episodes/3 hours of broadcast)

Example – Question :
To what extent does ‘Eastenders’ emphasise crime as a male activity and as a ‘normal’ part of everyday life?

Stage 2:
Decide on a number of ‘sub-questions’ – which themes, issues will you look for and code in order to answer your overall question?
Hint – descriptive categories can be wide or narrow but must relate to your overall question.

Example – ‘Eastenders’ themes/issues:
In order to examine the question in the example above you would need to break it down to examine both
a) General/overall representation of crime/criminal behaviour
b) Gender-specific representation of crime/criminal behaviour

Example – Sub Questions linked to themes/issues –

For a) you could ask the following sub-questions;
-how much crime is portrayed?
-what crime categories are represented (e.g. violent, interpersonal, property?)
– what is the impact of crime on the community? (e.g. serious vs. trivial, individual/family or community based)
-what is ‘done’ about it? (e.g. intervention by police or community/family resolution?)

For b) you could ask the following sub-questions;
– what is the gender balance of the perpetrators of crime?
–    what ‘types’ of crime are represented?
–    Are crime presented as sex-specific?
–    Do offenders react differently according to gender? (e.g. using violence)
–    Are male/female offenders treated differently when discovered? (e.g. by police, by family, by community)

Stage 3:
Develop a number of codes (categories and sub-categories) from these sub-questions that you will be able to tally numerically. You will need to watch/read your media

sample a number of times in order to do this.

Codes are the categories and sub-categories you develop in order to test your research questions. You need to think about HOW you can answer your question through

codes. E.g. the question re gender and crime could be tested through codes like:
Gender (code or category)
a)    Men
b)    women
(men and women are the sub-categories which you count)

Type of crime (code or category)
a)    violent
b)    white collar
c)    interpersonal
d)    property
(again these four types of crimes would be sub-categories which you count)

At this point you will need to write up a number of explanatory descriptions that link to the codes into a reference sheet. This provides a kind of guide sheet for

everyone to use when doing their own individual coding. In CA projects with large samples and multiple coders this would be your ‘Coding Book’.

Stage 4:
Draw up a ‘content analysis grid’ (or ‘coding sheet’) which will enable you to monitor and count representations based on your categories.

Example – Watch the episodes of ‘Eastenders’ and count representations. Fill in as many sheets as necessary for each episode;

Episode 1    Numbers of representations occurring in this episode
Total number of crimes shown    5
Type of crimes shown:
white collar
Impact of crime:
not shown
Resolution/intervention re crime:


Repeat this for all the episodes you are analysing and then produce a final content analysis grid which adds up all the numbers:

All episodes    Numbers of representations occurring in all episodes
Total number of crimes shown    55
Type of crimes shown:
white collar
Impact of crime:
not shown
Resolution/intervention re crime:


Stage 5:
Analyse your content analysis grid by doing comparisons. This might be best expressed in percentages as well as total numbers in order to be meaningful.

From the above example we might find the following:

Total number of crimes shown: 55
Total number of criminal men: 50
Total number of criminal women: 5

That means the vast majority of crimes shown are perpetrated by males. To be precise:
50 crimes committed by men is 90.9% of all crimes shown
5 crimes committed by women is 9.1% of all crimes shows

Doing percentages:
Number of crimes by gender ÷ Number of total crimes × 100 = Percentage


50 ÷ 55 × 100 = 90.9%

Stage 6:
Interpreting the data – draw out qualitative and analytic suggestions that emerge from your statistical count, by relating the numbers to your sub-questions, the

literature on your topic, previous research etc.

From the above CA statistics you could suggest that ‘Eastenders’ portrays crime in the following ways:
a) men are more criminal than women
b) crime is a ‘serious’ problem
c) violent crime is emphasised
d) resolution of crime is mostly ‘outside’ of formal state agencies

Stage 7:
Return to your overall question and specifically outline how your findings relate to it. Identify if there are any anomalies in your CA related to the question set. If

your statistics didn’t ‘work’ identify why – this may not be because you have done something wrong, but as a product of the methodology. If so, you should explain this


Project Report Guidelines

Project reports should:
–    Be no more than 2,500 words
–    Be typed
–    Provide a front sheet which must include;
title & code no. of the Unit;
your name & student number;
the title of your project report;
gives the word count of the report;
date of submission.

–    Be structured around the following sections:
•    Introduction
•    Development of Content Codes/Categories
•    Content Analysis Grid & Data Collection
•    Findings
•    Analysis
Details on the content of each of these sections are given below.

–    You should also include a Bibliography and if you wish to, you
can include Appendices (these could include examples of your coding sheet and more detailed results/tables, for instance).

–    The main aim is to primarily outline how you completed the piece of content analysis and what your findings were. However the ‘Interpretation & overall

context’ section must include references to established academic research on the media representation of crime.

Project Report Outline

Overall your report should outline the “what, why, and how” of this project, outline and analyse data produced, and be critically reflexive about the methodological

implications of doing content analysis.

Reading lists
Are available in your unit handbook (full lists are in the long version). You all need to consult sources on content analysis which are listed under the relevant

lecture in your handbook. On top of this you need to have a look at sources listed under lectures relevant your particular project (e.g. reality crime TV;

documentaries etc) as well as wider/general media & crime reading.

1: Title & Introduction.

Explain what you have chosen to analyse (what media text) and how you sampled it (how much/which bits). What is your main question? Are there are sub-questions? What

is your hypothesis?
Your introduction should outline what the report will cover and explain its structure.

2: Your research question and the development of codes

Explain how you are using content analysis to design your media project. What is content analysis? Which codes (categories and sub-categories) did you develop and why,

i.e. how do they link to your research questions? Did codes and questions change over the course of doing the project – and if so why? Were codes useful, i.e. did you

manage to find out what you wanted to find out and answer your question(s)?

3: Content analysis grid & data collection.

Show what it looked like and explain how you completed it – in other words how did you carry out the actual data collection. Outline your data and explain how you

analysed them (e.g. which figures did you compare; how did you produce statistics etc). Mention any problems if you did encounter them.

4: Findings

What were your findings? Could you have produced different findings, i.e. is there an element of subjectivity? Did findings answer your questions? If not, why not? Did

findings suggest any particular strengths and weaknesses with your project design?

5: Analysis & interpretation
Analyse the data you have produced in relation to your question and the existing literature on your subject. E.g. how can we make sense of Eastenders representing

crime as a male activity and as usually serious – how does this relate to gender and crime in real life? How does this fit in with trends in soaps, dramas or other

media representations of crime? Are there similar studies that confirm/challenge your findings? For this section you need to have done some reading around your topic

areas (e.g. gender; crime; soap operas and other media).

Reflexively analyse your media project, especially the use of content analysis as a method. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the method? In what ways did your

project show this (or not)? Did you manage to design a project which used content analysis to produce meaningful data which answer your question? For this section you

need to have done some reading on content analysis.

Should be given at the end of the report, using the standard Harvard referencing style.

(2,500 words)


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