Foreign News in American Morning Newspapers: A Study in Public Opinion

Foreign News in American Morning Newspapers: A Study in Public Opinion

Foreign News in American Morning Newspapers: A Study in Public Opinion

Foreign News in American Morning Newspapers: A Study in Public Opinion

Excerpt

The present monograph represents an effort to explore on a small scale the possible applications of a statistical and semi- behavioristic approach to the study of the social phenomenon called Public Opinion. The research concerns one particular index of Public Opinion primarily, that derived from a quantitative analysis of the daily press, and the attempt is made to contribute to the solution of certain methodological problems which must be solved before that index can receive a thorough testing in actual practice. Strictly speaking, therefore, the validity of the newspaper content index of Public Opinion is still open to question at the end of what is essentially a methodological study. In the view of the writer, however, the results of the research to be described are such as to at least establish a presumption in favor of this method of Public Opinion study, a presumption that justifies further experimentation along similar lines. Evidences of a recently revived interest in quantitative newspaper study in several quarters seem to guarantee that this additional work in perfecting, standardizing and validating the technique will soon be performed. Meanwhile it is to be hoped that other research will similarly exploit the possibilities in other avenues of approach to the understanding of Public Opinion processes. All the resources of the sociologist will have to be mobilized if this complex phenomenon is to yield to scientific description and analysis.

In the laborious work of measuring the content of the many newspapers employed in the research the writer was aided by Mr. Paul S. Wingert of New York City and his thanks are . . .

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