El escándalo del TFM de Cifuentes en las páginas de inicio

Esta es una reproducción de un hilo publicado en Twitter sobre el anáisis de noticias en portadas online del 9 de abril de 2018):

Para poder analizar las portadas de los último días he descargado cada hora el html de la portada de cada periódico con storytracker.

Está disponible el código para procesar los html de las portadas online con R.

Too long & do not read Spanish: How to parse and make the visualizations based on the archive of digital home pages built with storytracker: R code available.

Bueno, por fin puedo ponerme a contar noticias de Cifuentes en portada de los periódicos digitales. A ver qué sale:

Para poder el porcentaje de noticias sobre Cifuentes en portada necesitamos saber cuál es el total de noticias en cada momento (cada hora) en cada periódico:

Noticias en portada por hora en eldiario.es.

Después hay que contar los titulares en portada de las noticias que contienen “Cifuentes” (y palabras relacionadas con el caso de su máster) para un periódico. Ejemplo con eldiario.es:

Número de noticias en portada en eldiario.es sobre Cifuentes.

Para hacer el cálculo del número de noticias se han elegido todas aquellas que incluyen una de las siguientes palabras o grupos de palabras en su titular: “Cifuentes|Javier Ramos|Enrique Álvarez Conde|Pablo Chico|María Teresa Feito|Alicia López de los Cobos|Cecilia Rosado|Clara Souto|Amalia Calonge|Universidad Rey Juan Carlos”.

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Si hoy declara Correa, es un buen día para ponerse con la tesis

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Justo ayer, el día que empezaba a declarar Correa en el juicio de la primera época de la Gürtel, me ha llegado la noticia. Ha sido aprobado el proyecto de tesis y plan de investigación “The color of corruption coverage in Spain” (descarga el pdf) que presenté en mayo. Así que ya soy oficialmente doctorando. Sólo me queda hacer la tesis. Correa es el acusado clave de la trama y por el que toma nombre el caso Gürtel, que es “correa” en alemán.

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Modo interactivo en PageOneX.com

Ahora un resumen de los últimos acontecimientos en cunato a la tesis se refiere.

Data gathering in the age of information

It’s been a busy week. Almost all the tasks are related to data gathering: tweets, front pages or video streaming. It is interesting how non trivial is to gather all the different information flows that surround as.

Answers from reviewers to the thesis research plan

The research proposal has had been approved with no conditions by my thesis committee and one anonymous reviewer. Here you can download the document: The color of corruption coverage in Spain. Agenda setting in a polarized media ecosystem. I need to examine and review the suggestions that I list below (thanks reviewrs):

  • Hypothesis too general
    “hypotheses are too general. Here is my recommendation: the candidate defines the hypothesis thinking on the connection between the dependent and independent variables”.
  • Operationalization of variables and independent variables
    “The candidate will use three types of data, one related to front-pages of print media, another with the information about twitter, and public opinion. To do that the candidate not only will follow existing methodologies but will also use pageonex.com (elaborated by the author). Here it will be relevant to know something else about the operationalization of variables. I guess the unit of analysis is going to be stories (number of percentage?), tweets (number?), public opinion (percentage?) for one or two years (2016-2017). Also we need more information about which are the independent variables that will be taken into account. In general the methodology seems as appropriate for the plan but needs further elaboration in the future”.
  • Define agenda setting role of media, traditional vs new media, analyze literature
    “In general, it is clear the author has analyzed some of the main contributions to the field, but there are some important shortcomings. There is not a discussion about which is the agenda setting role of the media, what we mean by that, why this is important, and which are the factors that limit the capabilities of the new and traditional media to develop this agenda setting role. (…) Accordingly, the theoretical part needs an elaborated discussion about the agenda setting role of the new and traditional media, highlighting the similarities and differences between the two and why this matters. To do that the author needs to analyze the literature about agenda setting taking into account authors like Norris to better understand the role of the media in a democracy, Graber and Iyengar to explain the agenda setting role of the media and the interconnection between different types of media outlets, Hallin and Mancini to better understand the media systems and why this matter (just to mention some of the most cited).
  • Add asocial movemente theory and atudy anti-corruption activist
    “Suggest the author add an additional RQ / hypothesis about anti-corruption activists attempts to influence the mass media agenda, outside of social media (through meetings, petitions, protests, and so on). Do anti-corruption protests shift the mass media agenda? (…) The author may want or need to develop additional data (qualitative and/or quantitative) about attempts by anti-corruption activists to shift the mass media agenda. For example, a dataset of anti-corruption protests, by size/participation, and/or analysis of interviews with anti-corruption activists. (…) the dissertation might benefit from a section that engages significantly with the social movement studies literature. Specifically, there is a subfield of social movement studies that explores the ways that social movement actors attempt to gain access to mass media visibility, and in the context of the Spanish corruption cases, presumably this is taking place extensively. This introduces additional possibilities and questions about mass media agenda setting. For example: are there social movement actors who have personal friends among journalists, editors, and other members of the mass media? Potentially, they are meeting, lobbying, talking with, protesting, and otherwise attempting to shift the mass media agenda to cover corruption, NOT ONLY via social media but also through face to face methods, phone calls, petitions, meetings, perhaps direct actions, advertiser boycotts, and so on. Also: do anti-corruption protests shift the news agenda?”
  • Mejor conexión entre los ámbitos de la investigación
    “Faltaría, en algunos casos, trabar mejor la transición o la interconexión entre los distintos ámbitos de la investigación. En especial faltaría una mejor/mayor justificación de la (supuesta) disrupción que hacen los medios sociales en el panorama informativo y su papel de contrapeso con los medios tradicionale. (…) La parte del impacto de los nuevos medios en el establecimiento de la agenda debería reforzarse para que no quede coja respecto al resto de marco teórico. Por otra parte, la retroalimentación mútua entre los viejos y los medios nuevos/digitales debería perfilarse mejor para poder acabar de definir la metodología”.
  • ¿Qué preguntas hacer a los datos pra no desbordarse?
    “La metodología es muy robusta y utilizará sobre todo dos grandes fuentes de datos, extensas, objetivas y relativamente fáciles de manipular. En este sentido, el reto será saber qué preguntas hacerles a los datos – de las muchas posibles dada la riqueza de los mismos – para que la investigación no se desborde”.
  • Falta mayor profundidad en el planteamiento
    “Sí, los objetivos, las preguntas y las hipótesis son claras y fundamentadas en el debate teórico. Sin embargo, falta una cierta profundidad de planteamiento que se queda en lo descriptivo. Ciertas cuestiones de fondo quedan implícitas o marginadas, como si la polarización es mayor en las redes sociales que en los medios de referencia o si los casos de corrupción preeminentes en ambas esferas (redes digitales y medios convencionales) difieren en cuanto a sus protagonistas. La primera cuestión se relacionaría con las dinámicas de polarización que se atribuyen a la esfera pública digital y la segunda, con el control que se atribuye a las fuentes oficiales en la agenda de los medios convencionales de referencia y a los alineamientos político-edioriales que se han percibido en la prensa española. Se recomienda un mayor énfasis en estas preguntas para facilitar un debate académico que haga aportaciones más allá del caso de estudio nacional que ahora se plantea”.
  • Falta autores españoles anteriores al año 2000
    “La bibiliografía recoge en extenso las principales contribuciones en el orden teórico y empírico, en el plano nacional e internacional. Se echa en falta, sin embargo, el conocimiento y la referencia a obras de autores españoles anteriores del año 2000 y anteriores que abordan el tema de la construcción de la agenda y de los marcos discursivos tanto en la teoría como en análisis de casos”.

Some related tweets

From Abstract research plan to Research Plan

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Después de unos ajustes al resumen que preparé para el seminario de hace unas semanas he presentado el Abstrac Research Plan a la comisión de doctorado. El cambio principal es centrar o dar más peso al estudio de las redes sociales (social networking sites) en el ecosistema de medios, que son que ha cambiado el panorama de la comunicación en los últimos tiempos. Dentro de “mass media” incluyo “news media” y “social media“. La idea es usar el caso de la cobertura de corrupción para realizar esta investigación.

A finales de mes tengo que presentar el plan de investigación completo (4.500 palabras) así que ya estoy trabajando en ello. A ver cómo este nuevo enfoque me hace reestructurar y escribir lo que tenía hasta ahora.

Mientras, pastpages.org se ha puesto a funcionar para capturar las portadas de los principales diarios online  que le pasé a Ben Welsh ¡thank you! No está funcionando del todo bien, no todos los periódicos aparecen etiquetados como “Spain” pero ya va empezando a existir el archivo de periódicos online en España. De momento sólo archiva la imagen de la portada, no el código html. Esa funcionalidad solamente está disponible para ciertos periódicos.

Además, tendré que leer las recomendaciones de Ismael Peña, mi tutor, sobre el tema de la influencia de los social media. Jóvenes clásicos que hay que no he leído todavía que me ayudaran a tratar el tema de la importancia de los medios sociales en la web:  hablan del “daily me” en Being digital (1996) de Negroponte, las “echo chambers” en Republic.com 2.0 (2009) o sobre amateurs “Our social tools remove older obstacles to public expression, and thus remove the bottlenecks that characterized mass media” en Here comes everybody: How change happens when people come together (2009) de Shirky.

Pego aquí el abstract que entregué este domingo. Se aceptan y agradecen consejos, sugerencias.

Title: The color of corruption coverage in Spain. Agenda setting in a polarized media ecosystem.

Objectives, hypothesis and questions

By selecting and framing stories mainstream media help determine what is important and what not. Mass media play then a key role in shaping public opinion. Since the seminal article The agenda-setting function of mass media was published in 1972, and specially during the last decade, we have witnessed the emergence and the growth of influence of social media. Social media users (writers/readers) help to disseminate the news, but are also able to participate directly in the selection, creation and framing of the stories to modify the agenda setting traditionally dominated by the mainstream media (Negroponte 1995; Shirky, 2008; Sunstein, 2001). News media remain as key players in mass media ecosystem but they are no longer alone in the way political reality is shaped. How are social networking sites changing the agenda-setting role of traditional media?

How is the dialogue between social networking sites and mass media and how they drive attention to certain stories? We will use the topic of corruption in Spain to study this question.

In the past years, corruption cases in Spain have involved almost every institution in the country. These scandals are usually brought to light by news media and amplified by social media. Every week, a new investigation is unveiled provoking an increasing sense of indignation. As there is a wide range of actors involved in the scandals it makes corruption an appropriate field of research to analyze the role of social media in a polarized media ecology, where Spanish media outlets are traditionally aligned with political parties.

We will research the different variables that shape mass media coverage and public perception such as the main actors involved in a corruption case, the medium where it is published, the publicity given to the story or when it is published. Through the analysis of corruption coverage we are going to measure how news media protect or attack certain parties and institutions by hiding or promoting certain stories. The underlying objective is to update theories about the Spanish partisan media ecosystem.

In a system where people select the newspaper more aligned to their ideology: what comes first, the agenda setting and framing by mass media or the general public predisposition? We are specially interested to see how the situation evolves in a political situation that is shifting from a bipartisan system to a four players game, where new online news sites and networking sites are entering with strength the mass media ecosystem.

Methodology

The unit of analysis of this research are corruption stories in front/home pages of paper and online newspaper newspapers and social media messages in Twitter. We want to measure the importance given by the mass media to certain topics and compare it to the discussion in social media so that we can infer similarities and differences in both their characteristics and determinants.

We will quantify corruption coverage by measuring: the number of news; the size, by using the percentage of surface dedicated to the topic; the “color”, which institution was related to corruption. Informed by other studies and literature in the field of corruption coverage and media studies (Rivero & Fernández-Vázquez, 2011; Baumgartner & Chaqués Bonafont, 2015) we will also study the framing of corruption (Costas-Pérez, Solé-Ollé & Sorribas-Navarro, 2012), whether the coverage is neutral or negative or defensive and giving a positive view.

Whereas front page analysis is not new, we propose the use of new methods to have better and more accurate metrics that take in account size and visual aspect of the analyzed stories. We are going to use PageOneX.com to analyze front pages of paper newspapers and StoryTracker  (http://storytracker.pastpages.org/) to analyze home sites of online news sites. Our collection of data can also be compared with other analysis of front pages conducted by the Spanish Policy Agendas project (Chaqués-Bonafont, Palau & Baumgartner, 2014) in the two largest newspapers in Spain: El País and El Mundo.

To analyze social media messages in Twitter we will use the software and data set developed by Mari Luz Congosto at the Universidad Carlos III available at http://t-hoarder.com/. We will quantify conversations about topics by the number of messages, retweets, number of users and the topic they are referred to. We will also analyze user networks and the dissemination of tweets by the mainstream media in Twitter.

To provide related information to our stories data set and in order to measure impact in public opinion we are using two different approaches, existing public opinion surveys and focus groups.

  • The monthly national survey, “the barometer”, of the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS), that asks about the three more important problems for citizens, where corruption and fraud is since 2013 in the top three.
  • Focus groups to provide context to understand how people “read” front pages, how they judge about scandals along personal ideologies. We want to contrast data from media coverage with direct perceptions of readers. Participants will be selected to have diverse affinity to political parties and different ideologies. We will use the newspapers front pages of the week as a starting point for a conversation about corruption.

 

Próximamente espero renovar el tema de wodpress de este blog. Stay tuned!

The color of corruption goes PhD

In September 2015 I started a new phase in my research  about corruption coverage in Spain. I’ve joined the Information and Knowledge Society doctoral programme at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). The plan is to convert my research El color de la corrupción into a PhD dissertation in the following years.

Last semester I took two courses on research methodologies: Advanced Qualitative Methods and Research Design in Social Sciences which lead me to draft a research proposal for my dissertation.

Like I did with my architecture master thesis (Proyecto Final de Carrera in Spanish) I plan to document the entire process openly on line. For the moment I’ll use this blog you are reading at numeroteca.org.

There are a lot of things to talk about: selection of the topic, new areas of research, bibliography, methodology, on line education, why in English… and what it means (and why, how) to make a PhD.

I’ll start with this short presentation I prepared two weeks ago for a seminar at UOC to get some feedback about the research proposal. The following month I have to officially present the research plan.

Abstract

The color of corruption coverage in Spain. Agenda setting in a polarized media system.

In the recent years, the fast-growing list of corruption investigations in Spain have involved almost every institution in the country: the major political parties, the royal house, the main unions, the supreme court or the national bank, just to mention some of them. Everyday, new information and a new case is released/unveiled, provoking an increasing sense of indignation. This situation has pushed up the concern for corruption to the second position of the problems perceived in Spain.

Objectives and questions

The objective of this research is to study how corruption is portrayed in newspapers and analyze how corruption coverage influences public opinion:

  • to update theories about the Spanish partisan media ecosystem and understand how media outlets are reacting to the new wave of corruption scandals.
  • to find out if (and how) corruption coverage influences public opinion in order to help readers understand how persuasive is the mass media ecosystem. In a system where people select the newspaper more aligned to their ideology: what comes first, the agenda setting and framing by mass media or the general public predisposition?
  • to study how is the feedback between social networking sites and mass media regarding corruption coverage and how they drive attention to certain stories?

Methodology

We are going to analyze corruption stories in front pages of paper newspaper and home pages of online newspapers to measure the importance given by the media to certain topics. Whereas front page analysis is not new, we propose the use of new methods (PageOneX.com and StoryTracker software) to have better and more accurate metrics that take in account size and visual aspect of the analyzed stories. We plan to complete our research using existing datasets like opinion surveys and databases of social networking sites, like Twitter. Social networking sites are another key element to analyze the influence of mass media in the public agenda and to help understand the triangle media, politics and public opinion.

State of the research

A data visualization of front page data can be accessed at http://numeroteca.org/colorcorrupcion/

Thesis committe

The thesis committee is formed by Ismael Peña (tutor), Sasha Costanza-Chock and Victor Sampedro.

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