News Journals / Primary Research — Thesis Update #2

By Monday, October 20, 2014 No tags 0

The first phase of my pri­mary re­search for my mas­ter the­sis project started with some mak­ing. Af­ter get­ting a quick re­fresher tu­to­r­ial from de­signer Abi­gail Steinem, I de­signed and made hand bound jour­nals for my re­search par­tic­i­pants to record their news con­sump­tion habits for a week and a half. I re­cruited (with the help of Kris­tine Matthews, my the­sis chair) a class of ju­niors at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. The jour­nals were an in­ter­est­ing chal­lenge. In or­der for them to not be­come a chore they needed to be sim­ple and straight for­ward. They also were made small and sturdy so that the stu­dents could eas­ily keep the jour­nals on them at all times.

Af­ter a week and a half, I tran­scribed all of the jour­nals and coded them to find any pat­terns and in­sights from the stu­dents. I fol­lowed up a week later with a small group of the par­tic­i­pants to dis­cuss and gather ad­di­tional de­tailed in­sights into their views and re­la­tion­ships with the news. 

Some ini­tial stu­dent insights

  • I don’t care / I just don’t care
  • Can’t re­late / I can’t re­late to any of these sto­ries. What do these sto­ries have to do with me?
  • Too busy / I just don’t have time! I am too busy.
  • Where to start / I don’t know where to start. These top­ics are so big and I would have to catch up.
  • Don’t trust / I don’t trust any of them (news outlets)!
  • Scary / The news is scary and depressing.
  • Aware of be­ing un­in­formed / I read the news, but I know I should be read­ing more.
I just don’t care

Check back for more updates.


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