Basic Media Research

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  • Topic: Newspaper, Mass media, The New York Times
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Basic Media Research
IA2 – Research Paper Review
Cheryl Mun (1100405H)
T02
Miss Asha Kumaran
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RED DOT RISING: WESTERN SENTIMENTS IN PRINT MEDIA PORTRAYALS OF SINGAPORE

Research Question

In this study, the research question is identified as follow:

“How is the manner that Singapore is portrayed via various media channels related to the nation’s identity and agenda setting?”

This research paper examines the influences that media portrayals have on different groups of people internationally, ranging from foreigners who have never visited Singapore to businesses and political parties or individuals. It also investigates the hypothesis that there is a clear relationship between media coverage of nations and how people view these nations. -------------------------------------------------

Variables

Analysis of the research question was based on:

Dependent Variables –
1) Subjects (overall topics of articles in the sample)
2) Polarity (whether appraisers have positive, negative or neutral stands about Singapore) 3) Types of Appraisal (authors’ choices of words that create different tones) 4) Engagement (authors’ styles and persuasion tactics)

Independent Variables –
1) Singapore’s image that is portrayed to the rest of the world. -------------------------------------------------

Methodology

Research Design

Quantitative Approach was used in this study to measure variables. Statistics were arranged descriptively in the form of bar graphs for each variable so that comparisons could be made easily, with the presence of summaries after every diagram. Tables were used to further break down statistics for variables such as Polarity, Types of Appraisal and Engagement.

Sample Group and Method

The United States is one of Singapore’s largest trading partners and that Britain was a former predominant influence of Singapore. Therefore, two of their most well-established and renowned newspapers – The New York Times (NYT) and The Times of London (TL) – were used for sampling. 17 articles from NYT and 11 articles from TL that were written in year 2008 served as samples for the study.

Purpose Sampling was adopted because it involves the selection of samples that have characteristics that are of interest to the study. In this case, the total of 28 articles from the 2 newspapers were used because Singapore was the main subject matter in them, which was relevant in reflecting and providing information on how Singapore was portrayed.

Data Collection / Gathering

Martin and White’s (2005) framework was used to analyse the portrayal of Singapore in the samples. This framework emphasises on identifying appraisal groups within each article, Affect that adds human emotions to appraisals, and Proclamation that puts emphasis on appraisals with the use of affirmative terms.

Hence, appraisal groups were first identified in the study. A total of 1068 and 650 appraisal groups were identified in NYT and TL respectively. After which, the variables were discussed with respect to these appraisal groups. Affect was found in variables such as Polarity and Types of Appraisal and Proclamation was found in Engagement. This framework used for data analysis was generally systematic and easy to follow. -------------------------------------------------

Reliability and Validity

The study is very reliable because the statistics and data shown were derived from actual newspaper articles. Therefore, everything is factual and conclusions were not made from personal inferences.

The study also ensured internal validity. Firstly, NYT and TL were appropriate newspapers chosen to obtain articles from because of the close relationship between Singapore and the United States and Britain. Secondly, all the articles chosen were written in year 2008 and this suggests that the insights of authors were consistent over a fixed period of time. Lastly, this study...
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