Multimedia journalism as a research method - A new approach
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Journalism has long been considered the subject of academic research rather than a research method in its own right (Hartely, 1995, p.27). Scholars have considered the use of both qualitative and quantitative academic methods in mainstream journalistic practice. Others have argued that major works of journalism should be accepted by the university and research sectors as the equivalent of academic research (Bacon, 2009). But only recently have some posited the notion that the journalistic combination of deadline-centred, source-based, document-sifting, interview-oriented, multi-tasking research could constitute a distinctive research method of value to academic researcher; particularly those focused on journalism theory and practice (ABA, 2001; Duffield, 2009). This paper presents a model for the five main research identities of journalism and explains how a team of Australian researchers has been taking this even further by applying multimedia journalism research methods to a research project on the nature of so-called ‘backpack’ or ‘mojo’ journalism. This has included the audio and digital video recording of interviews with expert sources in ‘opportunistic’ journalism style; the recording of reflective ‘blogs’ on the research process and the online posting of progressive data sets for the collaborative use of other scholars.
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