Media research does not stop being useful whilst at university and your next assignment is on deadline. It also underpins a lot of media coverage and the news organisation's wider editorial strategies too.
Journalism.co.uk has rounded up ten best places for media research on the internet to help you get the relevant numbers on everything from digital news to diversity.
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ)
Part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford (UK), RISJ publishes academic reports and papers on the trends driving mainly the digital media market.
Amongst its best-known publications is the Digital News Report (DNR), an annual update on digital news consumption in more than 30 countries, now in its eighth year. DNR is often the first step for any assignment or piece to do with digital news, as it provides an overview of big trends like podcasting, private messaging platforms and paid content, as well as a country-by-country breakdown on these points.
Pew Research Center (Pew)
Pew is an American think tank which studies public opinion on a range of trends that shape the world.
In the mix of the politics and sciences, you will find surveys on journalism and news-related topics, including social and mobile news, attitudes towards the media and news economy. A lot of the data leans towards a US audience but you will find data on overseas markets too.
The UK communications regulatory body publishes a lot of data relevant to UK broadcast journalism. The latest report includes news consumption in the UK for radio, TV and social media for major news organisations, and attitudes towards broadcast media.
A really handy piece of research produced annually is the diversity and equal opportunities report for both radio and TV sector. It offers a breakdown of representation for diversity at major broadcasters, in regards to gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age and religion/belief. It also offers areas of improvement upon reflecting on the findings.
Want to stay up to date? There is also a calendar for research to be published later in the year.
You have probably heard of this one. YouGov is a global community of people who sign up and complete surveys on a range of topics, frequently giving their opinion on subjects relevant to the news industry.
It can be hit and miss to find what you are looking for. Try punching in some journalism-relevant terms in the search bar. You might strike gold and find a survey on attitudes to Brexit reporting or you might be redirected to existing research on social media user's ability to spot fake news.
Speaking of spotting fake news, we have to mention The Manifest, a data and analytics community which writes broadly on leading business trends.
Of interest to journalists is its section The State of Tech, which conducts audience surveys into fake news, social media usage across generations, and even more generic research into employee behaviour.
This is a social media analytics tool which also provides audience insights and data on all the main platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Head to its blog section and you will find case studies which go beyond the typical data on news consumption and instead focus on individual features and functions. Want to know the best hashtags for news outlets on Instagram? Look no further. Want to know which videos go the furthest on Facebook? You get that as well.
The Future Today Institute (FTI)
With one eye on the future ahead, FTI follows the tech side of trends happening in journalism and news media - so much so they have published a report on 108 emerging trends to pay attention to.
It offers a depth of insight into artificial intelligence, blockchain, computational journalism and all the other techie words that tend to give news folk a headache. On the plus side, it offers a guide to implementing them in the newsroom and stay ahead of the curve.
The Media Insight Project
A collaboration between the American Press Institute (API) and the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, looking to dive into the biggest challenges facing the business side of the US news industry.
You will find most of the research in the API research section that offers statistical insights into topics, such as willingness to pay for subscriptions and differences in news consumption between US racial groups.
Medill Local News Initiative
The LNI launched in November 2018 by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, together with Spiegel Research Center and Knight Lab Foundation. It set out to assess the growing challenges of US local news outlets and the business models that have been disrupted by changes in the digital landscape.
It has since published a series of articles to shed light on this topic and more recently announced the Medill News Leaders Project 2019 - a series of more than 50 interviews with local news leaders, examining the revenue models, rise of non-profits, innovation, disruption to TV, and the future of local news. This provides an excellent source of qualitative information about the challenges to US local news in the digital space. Keep your eye on this project as more interviews are to be published.
The Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS)
BCOMS runs an annual conference called D Word, which brings together recruiters and both aspiring and active journalists to discuss ways to improve diversity figures in the backdrop of research carried out by BCOMS.
Data on the website goes back as far as 2015 when the collective was created and has since collected data on the representation of gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity at major sports events - like the World Cup - and in the sports media industry.
Find out how to regain audiences’ trust by driving diversity in your newsroom at Newsrewired on 27 November at Reuters, London. Head to newsrewired.com for the full agenda and tickets
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