What is content analysis?
It systematically examines the words and pictures that are published, broadcast, or spoken – they may be found in
the form of a newspaper, magazine, book, play, newsletter, house organ, or on TV, cable, or a Web site
Related to coding
Content analysis limits itself to the produced content alone and draws conclusions based on what is there
“Research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of the manifest content of
The Content Analysis Codebook:
Includes instructions and coding definitions
SIMILAR TO WHAT WE WOULD PLUG INTO SPSS
Ex. 31 – law enforcement; 32 – Legislature; 33 – Media and Communication; etc.
Coding Categories must have
Validity asks: Is the category an accurate representation of the content to be coded?
Reliability addresses the issue of consistency – if two coders coded the same content, would they assign the
content to the same categories?
Levels of Measurement
of measurement: news stories can be labeled and sorted into mutually exclusive categories,
but there is no order to the categories
of measurement: the categories are labeled, sorted, and ordered from positive to negative
of measurement: Length – exact seconds coded
more levels of measurement listed in Ch. 3 (we were previously tested on these)
Pretesting the Content Analysis Codebook
After you train new coders, researchers use them to pretest the content analysis codebook
The pretest should be conducted on a sample of the content that represents the various types of issues that
will be encountered
Ex. having coders practice code different subjects that are positive, neutral, and negative helps increase
the reliability of the coding
Pretesting helps to identify coding categories that are not clear, comprehensive, and do not overlap other
categories as well as those that are deficient and must be developed further
Inter-coder Reliability Tests
Measures the consistency of coders in coding the content
Coders will code content exactly the same, producing 100 percent agreement, or a coefficient of reliability
100 percent (100% sure that it is reliable)