News-Seeking Habits

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Interview Subject Description

The purpose of this interview is to discover how people obtain information about current events and to determine whether people use different sources for types of news. A test subject was interviewed for forty five minutes via Skype and asked a series of questions about his news seeking habits.

The subject, a male in his mid-fifties, participated in the interview. Employed as a letter carrier with Canada Post for the past thirty years, he is a Canadian citizen residing in British Columbia. The highest level of education held is a high school diploma.

Summary of News Seeking Habits

To summarize the subject’s news seeking habits, the interviewer, as Wildemuth suggests, searched for themes and patterns in the responses. As Ryan and Russell recommend, the interviewer searched for repetitions in the subject’s answers to make determinations about news seeking habits.

The subject expressed interest in current events and demonstrated understanding and familiarity with current events asked during the interview. The subject exhibited strong curiosity but remained an active participant. The subject expressed interest in national, international, and political, current events and demonstrated deep concern about events such as the Harper government’s plans for changes to public service pensions and familiarity with economic issues in Europe. Entertainment news did not garner the same interest level. While the subject did not dislike such news, he explained he would not typically seek it out and was “less interested in celebrities than other news.”

The interview revealed the subject did not go to different sources for different types of news. Rather, the subject is interested in an establi...

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...ried about whether he obtained news from social media, the subject did not understand. An illustrative example was used to help. Once told that “…some people obtain news from Face Book, one might have learned about Whitney Houston’s death from a status update…” the subject understood clearly. Throughout the interview, illustrative questions were valuable in clarify the meaning of some questions.

Works Cited

Patton, Michael Q. Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. 2nd ed. California: Sage Publications, 1990. Print.

Ryan, Gery W, and H. Russell Bernard. “Techniques to Identify Themes in Qualitative Data.” Field Methods 15.1 (2003): 85-109. Web. 17 Feb. 2012.

Wildemuth, Barbara M. Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information

and Library Science. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. Print.
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