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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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21

The Methodology of Online News Analysis

A Quantitative Approach to Ephemeral Media

Helle Sjøvaag and Eirik Stavelin

ABSTRACT

This chapter describes a new method for analyzing online news employing both human and computer coding and based on a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative measures. The chapter illustrates how the method was used to perform a content analysis of the full online news output of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) for the year 2009 (n = 74430). It explains how the approach was developed, describes the problems we encountered along the way, and provides a rationale for further use of the method. We conclude that our work demonstrates that methodologies designed for measuring broadcast news do not suffice in the ephemeral online news environment. Thus, online research methods need to be redesigned to account for medium-specific news features on the Internet.

In this chapter we describe how we arrived at a methodology for analyzing online news quantitatively. The approach combines human and computer coding and is based on a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative measures. Used to perform a content analysis of a year's online news output of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), the study reveals how methodologies designed for measuring broadcast news fail to fully address the ephemeral nature of the online news environment. Online research methods need to be redesigned to account for medium-specific features on the Internet. ...

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