Friday, September 13, 2013

Media Industries Research--Business Press and Trade Journal Resources

The resource environment keeps improving for the study of media industries from an historical perspective. Penn's recent subscription to the  Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive, which covers core US and UK trade magazines in film, music, broadcasting and theater from the early 1900s forward, comes to mind. (See blog post from November 2012). Last year saw the addition of the Vogue Archive whose pages, because its editors always had their eye on more than fashion, have much to contribute to media industry studies.  There is also the admirable open access Media History Digital Library's Lantern database of digitized classic media periodicals in the public domain which I described here this past August.

In addition to these, I was reminded of the solid offerings of trade journals of the last few decades that we rely on Dow Jones Factiva and EBSCO's Communication and Mass Media Complete serving up to us, when I ran across this article in the current Communication, Culture & Critique by Kenton T. Wilkinson and Patrick F. Merle called The Merits and Challenges of Using Business Press and Trade Journal Reports in Academic Research on Media Industries.

This article argues that media researchers should pay closer attention to the benefits and potential pitfalls of using business press and industry trade journal reports to inform academic research. To date, the use of these secondary sources in scholarly research concerning media industries has received little interest, as demonstrated in a preliminary examination of how academic literature and research methods textbooks treat the business press and trade journal reports. The authors call for a dialogue on this significant oversight, and offer suggestions for how researchers might begin addressing it as media across the globe grow in scope and influence during the 21st century.

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