[Air-L] NYT story on academic facebook research

Mary-Helen Ward mhward at usyd.edu.au
Mon Dec 17 12:32:19 PST 2007


Fair enough!

However, I, and other qualitative researchers I meet with at the University,
have observed over some time that (at least in Australia) journalists find
it easier to ignore or poke fun at qualitative research than at
statistically-based material. If there are what they consider 'figures' to
hang a story on they seem much more comfortable even if they don't interpret
them well. Interesting, they don't seem to see their own backgrounders and
feature articles in which they canvass opinion, mash it up and report it,
often really well, as qualitative research.

M-H

On 18/12/07 1:04 AM, "Eszter Hargittai" <info at webuse.org> wrote:

> Mary-Helen mentioned earlier that journalists seem to feel more comfortable
> discussing quantitative results.  That comment made me chuckle.  If you only
> knew how much time I (and I suspect others in similar shoes) spend
> explaining relatively simple statistical findings to journalists only to
> have the results misrepresented in the end you would not make that
> assumption.  I suspect it's just another case where that comment about
> journalists' coverage of other areas applies: if it's not your specialty
> you're more likely to think they cover it well.:-}
> 



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