Trial Question For Media Research

The research topic my group is conducting asks about the level of influence the media (newspapers, online media and television) has in regards to thoughts regarding terrorism, specifically in regards to the ‘Sydney Siege’ which occurred at the Lindt Café in December last year, and the flurry of media coverage in the days that followed. We have chosen to undertake research on this topic due to the nature of reporting found within Australia’s major news outlets as well as the public’s response to terrorism within Australia. Therefore, we have decided on a list of questions to ask the respondents:

  1. What is your age and gender?
  2. Do you read or watch the news?
  3. What is your preferred media outlet?
  4. How often do you access this media?
  5. Which news outlets did you watch/read during the Sydney Siege?
  6. Do you feel that the media (especially news reporting) has an influence on its audience? If so, why?
  7. Can you recall key facts about the Sydney Siege?

We have chosen to ask these questions as they provide us with an understanding of our respondents before they provide in depth answers. Questions 1-5 are simple response questions which don’t require much thought and attempt to gain an understanding of viewing behaviour through each demographic, being age and gender. Following this is the two open answer questions asking respondents of their opinions of the media in regards to terrorism reporting, and what they learnt about the Sydney Siege based on which news outlet they follow. I believe that these open answer questions will provide the most information in order to answer our research question.

After getting responses, I believe that this is a list of questions which achieves our objectives and answers the question to some degree. Although, I think that some questions can be edited to improve our results. I think that the questions can be improved to answer our research question more efficiently. The questions don’t give us enough information from responses, instead context to their answers. I think these are useful as they provide the much needed context to the long answer responses, but to better answer the research question we must require more detail and a greater opportunity for respondents to explain the influence (of lack of) the media has over their audience.

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