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The purpose of this content analysis is to find out to what extend did the UK Media personalise the NHS crisis to the person of Patricia Hewitt?

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CONTENTS Executive Summary 3 Content Analysis Design 5 Purpose of the Research 6 Media Sample 7 Coding Devices 9 Unitisation 10 Reliability test 12 Conclusion 14 Bibliography 15 Appendix 16 Executive Summary Content analysis is a research tool used to determine the presence of certain words or concepts within texts or sets of texts. Researchers quantify and analyse the presence, meanings and relationships of such words and concepts, then make inferences about the messages within the texts, the writer(s), the audience, and even the culture and time of which these are a part. Texts can be defined broadly as books, book chapters, essays, interviews, discussions, newspaper headlines and articles, historical documents, speeches, conversations, advertising, theatre, informal conversation, or really any occurrence of communicative language. Texts in a single study may also represent a variety of different types of occurrences, such as Palmquist's 1990 study of two composition classes, in which he analysed student and teacher interviews, writing journals, classroom discussions and lectures, and out-of-class interaction sheets. To conduct a content analysis on any such text, the text is coded or broken down into manageable categories on a variety of levels -- word, word sense, phrase, sentence, or theme -- and then examined using one of content analysis' basic methods: conceptual analysis or relational analysis. Historically, content analysis was a time consuming process. Analysis was done manually, or slow mainframe computers were used to analyze punch cards containing data punched in by human coders. Single studies could employ thousands of these cards. ...read more.


Therefore, the search was narrowed to articles containing the words "NHS" and "Crisis". Although we are trying to justify how much the media related Patricia Hewitt to the crisis, we are not going to put her name into the search (e.g. "NHS", "Crisis" and "Patricia Hewitt") as this will result in articles about her only. We would then not be able to find out how many more articles there were about the crisis without mentioning her name. And without that it is not possible to justify to what extent the crisis was personalised. So, the final search criteria used were "NHS and Crisis". Although it is possible that some of the articles went missing as journalists did not use the word crisis while writing about current NHS problems, it is not going to influence on the result of present content analysis dramatically as we ended up with 342 articles. This is a big enough sample of the media to be reliable. It also simplifies our coding in the future as the media sample from the very beginning consists of articles about "NHS and Crisis" only. Coding Devices Coding is the process whereby raw data are systematically transformed and aggregated into units which permit a precise description of relevant content characteristics. The general problem in any research design is the selection and definition of categories into which content units are to be classified. The most important requirement of categories is that they must adequately reflect the investigator's research question (1; p.94). ...read more.


which is the ratio of coding agreements to the total number of coding devices: C.R. = 2M/N1+N2 In this formula, M is the number of coding decisions on which the coder is in agreement in both tests, and N1 and N2 refer to the number of coding decisions made by coder in the 1st and 2nd test respectively. In our example the coder identified and categorised 43 themes in the 1st test and 41 themes in the second test. But only 32 of them were in agreement according to this formula: N1=43 N2=41 M=32 C.R=2(32)/43+41 The coefficient of reliability of our analysis is therefore C.R. = 0.76. Conclusion According to the reliability test, our design is reliable enough to be taken further. This content analysis has a good chance to bring reliable results. In order to improve the reliability, more specific identifications of units are suggested. The researcher must further specify the unit (as the theme has a broad meaning and can be made up of many concepts) and specify how to distinguish between one or two mentions of a theme in an article context in more detail. The results of our test also disprove the theory that the UK media personalises the crisis with the person of Patricia Hewitt. According to our reliability test, the crisis is related to the person of Tony Blair and Labor party to a much higher extent. Nevertheless, no conclusions can be made out of this test as it is based on only six articles (there is still a chance that in the remaining 336 articles the UK media relates the crisis to the person of Ms. Hewitt) and it was not the purpose of this test. ...read more.

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