[[What I should have posted in January 2020: As with any freelance work, it is the way we are accountable that helps us achieve things.
The way I keep myself accountable is by supporting Helen Kara through Patreon.
I had a meeting with her today and as I talked to her I realised what my next step in my research had to be. I had to do the data collection; the survey.
So that’s my next step. ]]
16 March 2020
And here’s an update on my accountability. Because I knew that I was meeting with Helen this morning, I set up a survey right at the last minute. I had been thinking about it for weeks, and had known what I was going to include for months. The first paper I read about the link between regional media and demographics had survey questions I wanted to include, and that was almost a year ago now.
That thinking and cogitating hadn’t translated to me setting up a survey. Meeting with Helen and having to explain my actions made me set it up. And I wasn’t doing it for her. I was doing it for me. I just needed that accountability to force me to act on something I wanted to do.
As I updated her on my project, I was learning about what I had been doing. It actually felt like learning. I realised that I had already written up two articles that were part of my PhD.
My topic is the media effect of social media on local news.
I have written two stories about events of public interest happening in Bristol but not being covered by the local media at all. I consider the local mainstream media to be Bristol24/7, BBC Points West/Radio Bristol, The Bristol Cable, and The Bristol Post. The reason why the stories aren’t being covered in the local media is another topic I want to examine as part of my literature review. They have been covered in other types of media: The Bristolian, and BCfm.
The next stage is to survey people to see how much, or if, they have heard about the stories while noting that these stories are only available on social media and alternative press. The results from the surveys will provide the data for my research.
These case studies can now also provide text for the thesis.
I had been wondering how to write them up in the thesis and Helen mentioned writing them up as case studies. This is not just a simple matter of adding them in somewhere. There are certain ways of writing up case studies, and I have given myself two weeks to research case study methodology.
I will then write up my first one within two weeks after the research, and the second one three weeks after the first one. This gives me one week before my next meeting about the PhD.
I’ve been able to hold myself accountable, note down my progress, motivate myself –and get excited again–about what I’m doing, and set some deadlines for the next part of the work.
- Survey ready and starting to pilot [23/03]
- Case study methodology research [30/03]
- Writing up case studies — #1 due [14/04]; #2 due [10/05]
- Write up methodology update for Methodology chapter [19/05];