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Using the self as resource in media production research

Munnik, Michael 2015. Using the self as resource in media production research. Presented at: IAMCR 2015: Panel session: Advancing Media Production Research, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada, 12-16 July 2015.

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Abstract

This chapter proposes methods for conducting production enquiry at a strained time in the UK media sphere. Whilst scholars mused about whether the Leveson Report and the phone-hacking crimes that preceded it might encourage greater transparency among private news organizations, I argue from experience that public institutions – heretofore perceived as being slightly more open to social research – became reticent in the wake of contemporary problems, not least of which was the scandal concerning former presenter Jimmy Savile. After briefly narrating the challenges I encountered during qualitative fieldwork in Glasgow, I describe the strategies I employed to surmount the challenges and complete the research. The strategy I focus on in this chapter is the inclusion of the ethnographic self as resource. I ground this methodological approach in recent anthropological writings from Collins and Gallinat (2010), who consider it imperative for their discipline. More than reflexivity but less than autobiography, this approach invites researchers to consider themselves among their informants, negotiating access and building rapport but also contributing data and providing a filter through which data are analyzed. I consider the approach with critical reference to examples from literature on media production. I then integrate my prior professional experience as a broadcast journalist in Canada with my research on relationships between journalists and Muslim sources in Scotland. This becomes a template for media researchers with valuable professional experience to make the most of that asset, being bold enough to include it and cautious enough to account for it in a rigorous manner. In this way, anthropological theory continues to advance the ethnographic study of media production.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:33
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/80085

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