Homework A: Research Question

Think about a research question for your own master’s thesis. Try to be short and precise in the wording. Add several sub-questions or hypotheses. If you have different topics in mind, you can write own several different research questions. (200 words minimum).

I am interested in doing a comparative study in which I analyze the difference between U.S. and German media coverage of similar topics or events.

I became interested in this topic because I have experienced elections and campaign seasons in both of these respective countries from both sides of the pond. In 2012 during the U.S. presidential election, I was doing a semester abroad in Berlin and followed German media coverage of it. Summer 2013 I returned to Germany to do an internship, which coincided with the campaign season of a major Bundeswahl. I was back in the U.S. by the time of the actual election and was surprised at the lack of coverage, given that the U.S. and Germany are on good terms and are both powerful world economies. As my career goal is to be a foreign correspondent and increase coverage of German affairs in U.S. media, something like this would be an excellent topic for my master’s thesis.

I am also interested in alternative and counter-culture movements, particularly Antifascism as it’s extremely visible in Hamburg but I had never heard of it in the States. I was surprised that it hadn’t caught on, especially as I am from the liberal Pacific Northwest, home of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, the thriving hippie scenes in Olympia and Portland, and birthplace of the riot grrrl feminist punk movement. I was inspired by the 2008 Cottle text “Reporting demonstrations: the changing media politics of dissent” and may adapt my research question from one of the questions posed there. One possible topic would be the recent anti-Trans Pacific Partnership and Trans Atlantic Partnersip protests, because they occurred nearly simultaneously in Seattle and Berlin. I could look at the media framing of these protests both in their respective countries and in the other country.

Cottle poses the question: How are political demonstrations in different countries and political contexts reported in the news media and how are these related to national and geo-political interests expressed in and across this media coverage?

I could apply a version of this question to the protests in question: How did German and U.S. media frame their coverage of the recent anti-TPP and TTIP protests in their respective countries?

Homework A: Research Question

3 thoughts on “Homework A: Research Question

  1. Very interesting topic and a very good question. Try to add some sub-questions or hypotheses. A question like this is very good for hypotheses as you surely already have some ideas what might be influencing factors. A question starting with “How” otherwise bears the rist to lead to descriptive results.


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