Generate a coding sheet which could be applied to a single sample of discrete print or broadcast material (e.g. a news item, a magazine article, a print or broadcast advertisement). The coding sheet should allow for a content analysis on the following topics: Apply your coding sheet to at least two samples of media output, e.g. two advertisements, two newspaper articles, two broadcast news items. Provide an account of how you designed your coding sheet,
your experiences in applying it and
the nature of the data that it generated.
Topic: the representation of young men in Irish advertising. Due to a personal interest in film and television drama, this topic was chosen for it was the closest one among the available options. Consequently, for the type of advertising, the medium elected was television.
Designing the coding sheet.
- Choose a universe or sample of content.
- Establish a category frame of external referents relevant to the purpose of the enquiry - Choose a unit of analysis from the content
- Seek to match the content to the category frame by counting the frequency of the references to relevant items in the category frame, per chosen unit of content. - Express the results as an overall distribution of the chosen content sample in terms of the frequency of occurrence of the sought-for referents.
This procedure is based on two main assumptions: first, that the link between the external object of reference and the reference to it in the text will be reasonably clear and unambiguous, and second, that the frequency of occurrence of chosen references will validly express the predominant “meaning” of the text in an objective way. The method produces a statistical summary of a much larger media reality, it has been used especially for comparing media content with a known frequency distribution in “social reality”. LIMITs 362
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