Traditional content analysis methods should be reconsidered when studying online news, or any online media for that matter, write Michael Karlsson, of University of Karlstad, and Helle Sjøvaag, of University of Bergen. The authors argue that content analysis, albeit being sophisticated and well developed, can not take into account the particularities of online media. As a result, the method inadvertently fails to capture the epistemological nature of its subject.
The authors describe online media as being “ephemeral” in nature, and occupying only a vague spatial and temporal location. Capturing and analyzing online content at a particular point in time strips away part of its essence, the authors argue. Content analysis is not outdated, but modifications to it should be considered, Karlsson and Sjøvaag conclude.
The article Content analysis and online news was published by the journal Digital Journalism. It is freely available online.
Picture: Untitled by stevepb, licence CC0 1.0.