Analysis of health communication texts: UK press coverage of debates about assisted dying


Abstract


Conventionally, social researchers analyse media messages by reading text and coding it. This is time consuming and restricts many studies to small samples. Nowadays very large amounts of text are available in electronic form, offering potential insights into the health messages they contain, but which appear daunting to the analyst with limited resources using conventional methods. I explain and illustrate methods for the computer-assisted analysis of media texts, using specialised software (Wordsmith Tools and Wordstat). These allow the analyst to provide a statistical overview of the key features of texts, to compare them (looking at change over time, for example) and to select illustrative quotations that epitomise the trends identified. 

 


Keywords


media texts; data analysis; computer assisted analysis; keyword analysis; text mining

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