Sifting Through Scholarly Articles


My frustration over finding appropriate writings to help me with my Media Research Methods mid-term paper mounts with on-line databases asking for 40 dollars to gain a peek at an article. I have had some success with Google Scholar and a little success with RULA on Ryerson’s on-line site. I have a pile of articles in a folder to go through and a list of books to search for in the library.

While trying to place a hold on a book from on-line an hour and a half away from Toronto, I discovered that the system would not let me in. I emailed for some help and got a very quick response. My card won’t work until I go into the library and physically have it activated. I’m hoping there won’t be any additional time added on in waiting for activation of my card. It’s been over a month and I’m still waiting for my OneCard to help me unlock the TV production doors on the main floor of Ryerson so that I can used the Grad lounge.

Contemplating the third thesis question, I am wondering what issues to cover and how narrow a focus I should have. The thesis question is: Many Media theorists are discussing changes in the way television is being delivered and received. Is television still part of the texture of everyday life?

I like this question and would far prefer to go off giving my own opinions about it. It would likely end up taking a technological determinist tone as I observe what’s going on around me and know that I am not immune to the changes in my own use of television (see earlier post). Most television for me has become background noise. There are just a handful of shows that I will even watch anymore. I feel ripped off by the media content producers who use ordinary people who are wanna-be TV stars as cheap talent for their shows. Edgy humour and movie-like storylines and high technical quality appeal to me now. (HBO lives!)

I have also become a multi-tasker. I will have the TV on while working on the computer and even listening to music at the same time. My attention will float back and forth between what I find interesting in the moment. TV is everyday background noise that has a lot to compete with in capturing my attention.

Since my essay is to be a scholarly article with 4 scholarly sources cited and 2 library databases, I know I’ll have to quote someone else’s opinions on the subject. I could look at media convergence in technology, vertical integration in media business models, and even branding while examining the change in delivery and reception of television. I could look up quantitative number crunching results on the number of people watching TV, how many TVs are in the average home, and how much time are people of various age groups spending in front of the tube a week. This may give me some statistical analysis of trends in television usage to help support my thesis. Now my question becomes, how focused on an area do I need to be? Will there be enough room in a 1500 word essay to explore subtopics in my thesis?

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