“Research is an essential link in the journalistic chain. I help the media to understand patterns in their content in order to align their editorial formula with their audience. In the end, this self-awareness increases the level of professional, ethical and inclusive media”.
“By observing media trends, I see opportunities for improvement, inclusive language, and ethical coverage”
“Maybe outsiders see my work as a researcher as unexciting, but conducting deep analysis into media behaviour makes my work meaningful. As Syrian media, we want to bring reliable news and information close to our audience and data is indispensable for that. I have been working as an editor and researcher for many years now. It is incredibly meaningful to collect data and present it in ways that can help bring awareness to media outlets on how they cover stories, or what they omit and include. In the past, I have experienced some media outlets making my findings meaningful to their editorial line.”
“Everywhere in Syria, invisible red lines run through the country which divide and bring insecurity. For years, media had a role to play in this by what they produced. I know that our audience does not always get the information that they want and need, but but I have seen that many media outlets have been leading by example to produce less polarizing and more ethical information ”
My personal media network
“I took my first steps in this profession as a citizen journalist. Fortunately, I now work as a researcher at an outlet and work in a professional environment among enthusiastic colleagues. My network is getting bigger and more valuable all the time.
How do I manage that? I attend training sessions with editors from other outlets on how to set up and carry out audience research, hold discussions with the ESJM team on media monitoring and actively participate in discussions on internet forums. At a time when there were many sensitivities to this work, I was mostly working in isolation and with limited contacts. Things have changed since I became more involved in forums and training offered by the EJSM programme. My conversations with colleagues about strategy within their organisations help me better focus my research on useful outputs.”
“My drive is to improve journalistic standards by increasing and sharing our knowledge of the media landscape. By becoming aware of our role as independent media we can increase our influence in society. My role is to collect relevant data and make it usable in order to focus our strategies on the needs of our readers. The EJSM team helps and supports me to professionalise research and media monitoring reports and make them more meaningful. I deliver reports with reflections on audience engagement and discuss them with my fellow journalists. It makes me proud to see that the outlets discuss my reports in their editorial meetings. Of course, research is sometimes questioned, people don’t always believe the data or findings and many people also don’t use it to its full potential. I need keep things digestible and attractive for people who want to make changes for their media approaches and audiences. Sometimes, we see audience research shared to our media organisation, but it can be difficult for media houses to really adjust in order to reach different audiences. However, there have been great moments where I see that the editorial managers have been basing their strategies on facts and I see the changes in the journalistic productions of Syrian media. What matters to me in the end is the impact of my research work: the audience is being served better and better!”
“I monitor the Syrian media on a monthly basis and conduct regular audience polls to know their preferences. With the help of event-based monitoring methodologies and analysis, I can increase my capacity and focus on really relevant data. I learned to research our audiences for their preferences.”
“The discussions with our media colleagues and the EJSM-team motivate me to raise the level of my research and make my output more and more relevant. As a researcher, you want your results to be used.”
Monthly content monitoring reports:
My lessons learned
“Data in itself is worth nothing, but it is by translating data into insights that I have come to see the value of research and I know other journalists feel the same. We now understand audience profiles and can use them to tailor editorial formulas to our audience. The data I provide help editors to improve their reporting and make their publications reach their audience. Gathering data can start small, for example with a small-scale survey on social media.”
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