Interview Subject Description
The purpose of this interview is to discover how people obtain information about current events and to determine whether people use different sources for types of news. A test subject was interviewed for forty five minutes via Skype and asked a series of questions about his news seeking habits.
The subject, a male in his mid-fifties, participated in the interview. Employed as a letter carrier with Canada Post for the past thirty years, he is a Canadian citizen residing in British Columbia. The highest level of education held is a high school diploma.
Summary of News Seeking Habits
To summarize the subject’s news seeking habits, the interviewer, as Wildemuth suggests, searched for themes and patterns in the responses. As Ryan and Russell recommend, the interviewer searched for repetitions in the subject’s answers to make determinations about news seeking habits.
The subject expressed interest in current events and demonstrated understanding and familiarity with current events asked during the interview. The subject exhibited strong curiosity but remained an active participant. The subject expressed interest in national, international, and political, current events and demonstrated deep concern about events such as the Harper government’s plans for changes to public service pensions and familiarity with economic issues in Europe. Entertainment news did not garner the same interest level. While the subject did not dislike such news, he explained he would not typically seek it out and was “less interested in celebrities than other news.”
The interview revealed the subject did not go to different sources for different types of news. Rather, the subject is interested in an established set of sources for all types of news. The primary sources the subject used are CBC’s “The National”, CBC.ca, BBC.com, and Shaw.ca News. Other sources the subject described himself using less often include the local paper, local radio, and friends.
Examination of the subject’s responses suggests several recurring themes are essential when it comes to news sources. The subject explained repeatedly that authority, trustworthiness, balance, and convenience are crucial when it comes to news sources. Additionally, the subject expressed the belief that some sources were more correct, concrete, and reliable than others. Analysis of these recurring themes suggests that the subject has established a fixed set of sources for all of news based on how well they support these recurring themes. Criticism of news sources were those the subject described as lacking depth.
The subject described CBC’s “The National” as “the best place to go for news,” which he watched nightly on television. Repeatedly, the subject described the CBC as authoritative, trustworthy, and balanced and expressed belief this source was more reliable than others. He expressed comfort and trust with CBC news anchors, as well.