Post 2.1.1, 2.1.2 Research and Journalism

Why is research important in the media industry?

Research is vital in the journalism industry because it is required to write the piece you are writing. Without doing research, you would not have the required information to complete it. It is also important to research audience profiling as it is important to understand the audience you are writing for so that you can adapt your language to suit.

Market research is also important because it can inform you of what you should do and what not to do to improve your writing and/or magazine. also, you can look for your competition to see what you are competing for sales with. It also lets you find opportunities to increase the sales of your magazine or newspaper and find any threats to the sales of your magazine or newspaper.

Production research is very important because it gives you the required knowledge to create your piece of writing and provides the requisite information on your budget, the amount of personnel and/ or who you can employ for this and the locations you can visit to complete it.

Research Tools


There are many different research tools used by journalists, which include social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to name a few. These media are used to receive direct information about a topic or person from there own social media accounts. this can be achieved by either looking through tweets and post from this organisation or person or directly messaging them in hope of asking a question or a series of questions. This method is easily achievable due the simple and easy access to the sites and the increased number of companies and people using them.

These sites are not 100% reliable as personal opinion and emotional drive can alter the truth to suit their personal agenda and publish false information to these sites. Also, public relations employees and personnel quite often run the social media accounts of these companies and famous people, which means the information is not coming directly from the person themselves, meaning it can altered to portray a more positive version of the company or person than what is real.

Google and other search engines such as: Vosteron, bing and Ecosia are common research tools used by journalists due to there easy access and breadth and depth of information. Sources of secondary research are press releases, local and international news agencies, public relations, electronic press kits and other publications and broadcaster through social media or other platforms. This means that a journalist can receive a wide range of information very easily and quickly, thus increasing the efficiency of their work. This method can however have disadvantages for instance: the sources used may be unreliable and suspect to viruses and propaganda. furthermore, adverts and clickbait are a huge issue when it comes to Google. some of the issues include applying a false title to a piece of information in order to achieve more clicks and views, causing the information that is wanted to be false. Ads are another major issue in this media as they are very subjective due to the intention of promoting a product, making the negatives side to the products hidden.

Further research tools include archives. archives can be used to show how a certain topic has change in a certain amount of time in which a journalist will filter through the archives of for example: a sport to find information about how the sport used to be played and any rule changes or how loosely the rules are enforced from the past into the present. This research tool is also useful to show how society has changed over the years in terms of censorship and attitudes.

Libraries are a research tool that is often used due to the reliability of the sources of information. These sources are reliable because they have to thoroughly checked before being published, meaning that the information is correct. However, books in libraries can also be biased and subjective as although the information is correct it can be written by a Neo-nazi for example and published through a non objective publisher. this can cause the information to be unhelpful and unreliable as it doesn’t provide information on both sides, making it dangerous for the public to see.


Primary and Secondary research


Journalist use to kinds of research to gather information needed for an article or any other piece of writing. These forms of research are Primary and Secondary.

Primary research is research that is done by a journalist themselves. this consists of things like interviews and questionnaires. Other sources of acquiring primary research on the topic is through phone calls, surveys, tip offs, vox pops and social media interviews via private message. This research is called qualitative research and is considered higher quality than Secondary research as it is first hand information, meaning that it is coming from a person or persons right at the heart of the story. This generally speaking means that the information is valid and therefore true and your piece of writing will be reporting the truth and will therefore be more respected. despite being extremely time consuming due to travel and interview time, it is still considered the best way to research a topic for your writing.

Sometimes however, you are forced to use Secondary research as it isn’t possible to construct primary research. Secondary research is research using platforms such as the internet and books. Secondary research is called quantitative research and is considered lower quality than Primary research as it is not first hand information that you are receiving and can therefore be invalid or incorrect. This means spending extra time to check and correct information that you find which can be wasting valuable research or writing time. there are advantages to Secondary research such as the easy access to the information and the quick access to the information. despite this, it is still considered to be the lower quality research method used by journalists.

On occasion, Primary and Secondary research will be used in some cases. This is used when a journalist needs to get first hand information and also information that can’t be acquired via Primary research. Advantages to this include a range of information which can enlighten the reader as to what is happening in the article or piece of writing. disadvantages to this include the amount of time it will take to acquire the information required and then the time it takes to check and correct the information gathered from Secondary research.

When using Secondary research, any websites, books or any other platform used to aquire the information must be listed in a bibliography. A bibliography is a collection of websites, books and other platforms used when gathering information. This must be done to show where you acquired the information from and show that it is not your own. This is to abide by the copyright law and to avoid fraudulence.



Research Skills Required By Journalists

Journalists require a huge range of research skills to become a a good journalists and to be successful, as I have discussed above.

Journalist require functional skills in literacy in order to write a good quality article without errors, thus increasing the readability of the article. They also require basic skills in numeracy in order to synthesise data to use statistics.


Digital and Multimedia skills are massively important in journalism as it helps branch your writing to many different platforms, thus increasing the width of your audience. Also, journalism is vastly expanding into social media and online (print is almost obsolete) meaning that in order to be successful in journalism it is imperative that your digital and multimedia skills are impeccable alongside having an inquisitive mind.

The skillset of a news reporter will differ from that of bloggers. A news reporter is required to be calm in front of the camera and have presentation skills. A blogger however is required to be less formal and more gossippy.



Research Project

My project is going to be an interactive poster about football in Sheffield, most notably the “Steel City Derby.” This will include the history of the sport and other clubs within the city.

This will involve links to images from archives and videos detailing past encounters between the 2 Sheffield football clubs and other sports clubs from the South Yorkshire city.

My target audience is 16-24 year olds and this means my language will not be limited to simple words and phrases.

I have chosen to do an interview for my primary research because it is the best way of finding out the information I need and is accessible as i am friends with people who support the sheffield clubs. I chose against other methods of acquiring primary information as they will not give me the required information.

I have chosen to use google for my secondary research as it is easily accessible and quick. I chose against other methods because they are slower and wont give me as much information and the information wont be a wide range.




2 thoughts on “Post 2.1.1, 2.1.2 Research and Journalism

Add yours

  1. Well done Ryan!
    You could use the task you did in class when you researched a topic using Google e.g. football transfers etc. to illustrate how useful Google can be.
    You could name some the archive sites you looked at in class.
    You could expand your section on journalism skills. We listed quite a few in class and have another look at my powerpoint. Re multimedia skills you could screenshot examples from the BBC website etc.
    Some grammar pointers:
    No such word as ‘medias’! It’s already plural for medium.
    Learn the difference between ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’!


  2. Couple of suggestions:
    1. Give some examples of the type of primary sources that a journalist might use e.g. Interviews face to face
    Telephone calls (e.g. calls to The Emergency Services, the Criminal Justice System, local councils etc.)
    Tip offs
    Vox pops
    Conducting a survey
    Social media (e.g. instantaneous commentary from a reliable sources on Twitter – internet sourced info is hard to check for validity and reliability)
    News conferences and briefings
    Reliable contacts / sources for weather data and sports news
    as well examples of secondary sources e.g. ‘The Wires’ (local, national and international news agencies e.g. the Press association, Reuters and Associated Press)
    Press releases, public relations and Electronic Press kits
    Other media (other publications and broadcasters)
    2. Re your poster research plan – why have you chosen the methods you have chosen and why have decided against the other methods?


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