Qualitative Research in Journalism: Taking It to the Streets

By Sharon Hartin Iorio | Go to book overview
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4
Qualitative Case Study
Methods in Newsroom
Research and Reporting:

The Case of the Akron Beacon Journal
Tanni Haas
Brooklyn College

INTRODUCTION

The qualitative case study occupies a unique position in the social sciences in that it is defined more by its object of inquiry (the case) than by the particular research methods used to study it. The case study, as Stake (1994, p. 236) noted: “is not a methodological choice, but a choice of object to be studied. The object can be an individual, a group, an organization, even an entire community, among many other things. Thus, depending on the specific goals of the study and characteristics of the object of inquiry, the qualitative case-study researcher will often use different research methods simultaneously, including participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, document analysis, and archival research. Some of the most well-known case studies have been written by journalists, have been about journalism, or both, notably Bernstein and Woodward's (1974) account of the Watergate cover-up and Cantril and Herzog's (1940) description of the panic caused by Orson Welles' 1938 Halloween radio broadcast of a fictional invasion of Martians. Neverthe

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