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Relating news analysis and public opinion: Applying a communications method as a 'tool' to aid interpretation of survey results

Statham, P. and Tumber, H. (2013). Relating news analysis and public opinion: Applying a communications method as a 'tool' to aid interpretation of survey results. Journalism, 14(6), pp. 737-753. doi: 10.1177/1464884913491044

Abstract

This article documents the methodological steps taken to use news analysis as a ‘tool’ for retrieving systematic information on political events to be used in the interpretation of findings from surveys on public opinion. The approach uses the selection function of mass media in producing ‘news’ as a proxy to identify the ‘political climate’ of a specific country at a specific time. This information on ‘political climate’ can be used to control whether ‘exceptional’ political events occurred during the period of fieldwork for surveys on public opinion that may have unduly biased the findings. Such a tool is especially useful for cross-national comparative survey research that is also longitudinal and the project described here was conducted within the framework of the European Social Survey (ESS). The specific news analysis method used to develop the tool draws inspiration from ‘claims-making analysis’.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2013
Publisher Keywords: Claims-making, news analysis, public opinion, survey research
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14420
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