Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Different Research Methods and Techniques

Primary Research is the research done to collect information for a certain purpose using different methods. This can be interviews, questionnaires, focus groups and observation to find new data. This could be asking people in the streets their opinions or having phone interviews.


For Example: Interviews with Brian Heasley in San Antonio, at Morna International college and at Shayan Studios (facts, statistics, health issues). We also had Interviews with different PR’s from clubs such as Casanova and La Noche. We interviewed a doctor at a Hospital, a taxi driver in his taxi, and the ex-chief of police (San Antonio) in the streets of San Antonio. Brian taught us what units are and what the difference is between the units given in Ibiza and the units given in the U.K. here they fill half of the glass, whereas in the U.K they measure the drink and it comes up to about a third of the glass. He also introduced us to Bar owner and P.R.’s who we interviewed but we didn’t use that footage because it wasn’t useful, it was more to do with practice. He also amused us with stories about drunken people.


Primary research is normally more useful because the data that is researched can be given by experts who are professionals and who know a lot about the topic, which means that the information, fact and statistics should be 100% true. The information that they are about to convey has also been planned and well thought of about so that it is relative to our subject. On the other hand, primary research could be very hard to find because people who know a lot about the topic may not be around for the documentary makers to use, therefore they would be forced to use secondary research instead.


Secondary Research is finding the information you need from books, journals or the Internet, what I mean is, information that has already been published by a company, and information that already exists. We use this data to help and support our own work and sometimes to even replace our own primary research. Secondary research is very easily accessible through Internet, magazines, newspapers etc. A disadvantage is that the information found on the internet could be false because its not your own, for example has a lot of information but anyone can add their point of view of the subject, which means it could be false. On the other hand the information give on websites is extremely helpful when searching for facts and statistics given by organizations. is a very useful website because it will help you find any information in the world, the only problem is that it cant really be trusted because it was written by peers and people and who aren’t qualified to teach about the subject. Those are the limitations of The Ibiza sun newspaper was very helpful because it had a couple stories about the binge drinking society on the island and it talks a lot about the clubs, the drinkers, the druggies. It gave us a lot of useful information.


Quantitative and Qualitative Research


Quantitative research is the research based on actual facts and statistics, information that can be measured, or to express and measure the quantity of the data. This is usually presented in the form of tables, charts and diagrams. Both primary and secondary research can provide quantitative information – for example ratings, circulation figures and market analysis, such as the number of items or size of space available. 

Qualitative research produces information about people’s opinions, views and preferences about the final product or relevant footage, photos, information… These are not facts or statistics. Both primary and secondary research can produce qualitative data. These types of data are very important within the media industry – they are used to find out what individuals and groups think and feel about a particular product, such as an advertisement, film or television program. 1 disadvantage when using


For example: We created a poll in which we asked the viewers opinion about a scene we have put into our introduction, the scene in which the car is knocked over at a light and smashes into another car. We asked:

Does this scene agree to our project title: teenage binge drinking?

Techniques & Procedures

When a media organization is looking to release a new product one of the primary jobs is to work out the potential audience, there are five commonly used categories.


The first is age. The company commonly divides the age groups into; under 15, sixteen - twenty-four, twenty-five – forty -four, forty-five – sixty-four and sixty-five and over. It still depends on what kind of media organization we are looking at. If for example we are talking about Toys-R-Us then they will be looking for 18 and under so they would have to break up the ages into smaller divisions, but if you are looking at a company dealing with over fifty-five market then it would be broken up as follows; fifty-five – sixty-four, sixty-five – seventy-four… Other categories include; pre-school children, school children, teenagers and pensioners. The regulatory system sometimes provides the media company with a framework detailing the different age groups, one example is the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification).


Gender is the second significant tool of categorization, many media products are aimed solely at one sex group, and the most obvious are magazines. For example Marie Claire and Vogue are aimed mainly at females whereas Top Crono (bikes, cars and houses for sale, Ibiza) is aimed more at men, this does not mean the opposite sex wont read the magazine but it does give the writers an idea about what they should be mentioning in their articles and how many products they will be selling.


We carry on to culture and ethnicity. People of different nationalities and religions need different information; it may be that they need it in a different language or that they want to read about their own country. Since that the media industry is growing to be used world wide many magazines, radio stations, and television stations are programmed in Britain or the USA but are aimed at certain cultures.


Another major category is income and social class. Here the media company makes sure that the product they are selling, whether magazines, toys or movies, are sold at an affordable price.


Finally there is the content analysis category, this category is where the organization makes sure that the target audience receives the information that they will want to read, information that is not available in other magazines, newspapers or T.V. series’. This way companies can make sure their product is up to date and not similar to another product. For example, a DJ magazine will try and get all the top stories about the the new DJ’s, hey will find out where they are playing, when and how you can get a ticket, they will most likely aim to do this before any other magazine has the chance to, this makes their magazine special because it has something no one else has.

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