Ooooooh got you with the click-bait title, thank you BuzzFeed.
I suppose in order for us to understand what Media Research is, we must first know what the concept of research is itself. The most basic understanding is that it consists of inquiry and investigation. Researching enables people to ask questions that have yet to be asked, combining skills to solve problems and finding answers, and communicating this new found knowledge to a wider audience so they too can benefit from your research.
The methods people chose to complete their research vary extensively as they depend on the specific needs of the investigation, the standards of the academic discipline, and the preferences of the researchers themselves. As noted by UC San Diego, research is an act of community, you are building on the knowledge of others before you and building a base for those who will come after. Research is an ongoing collaborative process.
When we speak about Media Research, we are referring to the search for information relating to different media channels and their effects. With this we have to consider the different ways in which Media Research is conducted. Trends are calculated on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube due to the popularity of certain posts or movements within their respective communities. Surveys are collected examining people’s opinions on various issues. Ratings are accumulated to show what radio stations and TV broadcasts audiences are tuning into most. These are just some of the tools used to investigate media, but there are many more.
I would consider myself an avid researcher, there is very seldom a moment where you won’t find me on my phone ‘researching’. I’m constantly examining the latest trends in streetwear culture or in viral content across all platforms, and although this is a very basic level of researching, I am still building my wealth of knowledge so as to leave something for those who come after me.
For me the most interesting aspect of media research is the how social media has influenced the way we dress and the fashion/ cultural trends that have emerged through the use of social media. Trends like “Normcore”, that emerged as arguably the most over-arching fashion theme of 2014 began as an art project by some New York, Arts degree graduates. They presented their project to trend-prediction agency K-Hole and from there it blew up. Fashion sites and social media accounts started posting articles and photos about this new trend that embraced what Australians would refer to as ‘daggy’, incorporating stone-washed denim with white crew socks and sneakers (think Steve Jobs at every Apple convention, or your Dad for that matter).
Social media has the world connected like never before and it’s amazing to think that our interactions 10, 20 years ago weren’t like today (but I suppose that’s more the 20 year old speaking, than the media researcher).