Writing a dissertation can be very difficult, especially if the student fails to have a concise research topic. Therefore the first step to writing a successful dissertation is to identify the area that the student wants to research and then, after a little reading, form a research question. A concise research question is very important as it ensures that the dissertation is focused and flowing. It is also important that the student chooses a dissertation question that is of interest and brings new insight into the topic. However, the topic should have enough literature for the student to form their argument, because a dissertation is not a PhD and aiming to change the field of research; rather it is to bring another point of view on the existing research and literature. The following article looks at a variety of different hot topics in media, journalism, mass communication and music and then identifies a number of good research questions to help the student to identify an area of interest; as well as how to form a good research question. Picking a topic for your media dissertation can be very difficult, therefore this article suggest topics within the subject areas of journalism, freedom of expression, censorship, music, culture, mass communications, communication and government monitoring and social networks.
Journalism and privacy is a very hot topic, especially in the growing world of celebrities. This topic considers how far the journalist can venture into an individual’s private life without breaching the individual’s fundamental right to privacy (Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights) and considers whether there is a different criteria for the private individual and the celebrity. Some topics within journalism and privacy that you could cover within your media dissertation could include:
The flipside of protecting privacy is the important role of the media as the public watchdog. This role is protected by the fundamental human right of freedom of expression. This area discusses how far courts should go to protect journalists from court cases, and specific topics for your media dissertation could include:
Censorship is the government approach to controlling the media for the good of the society. The question is how far can the government go to protect society and is it really justified or merely a form of citizen control? There are two forms of censorship, the first is direct censorship, which is the banning of certain mediums and topics, whist the second is propaganda, where the media and artists feed the government viewpoint. This is a controversial area in which to base your media dissertation.
Media plays a different role in different cultures; however this is changing in the digital and satellite age. This has brought fears of Americanisation and cultural imperialism, therefore bringing an exciting area for comparative research. Some topics and case studies that you could research for your media dissertation are:
Intellectual property is very important to the artist, especially in the current age of advanced technology where individuals can download pirated music and films. Some would argue that this devalues the worth of the artist; however the question arises on when does using the work of an artist become stealing? This is becoming a more prominent issue within the media industry, and the subject would make for an interesting media dissertation.
Communication in the digital age has caused fears that individual privacy will be breached as governments communicate with each other. However, the digital age has brought an opening of doors for cheap and effective communication and education. It also has helped the human rights era to take off by relaying these values to all cultures with limited censorship. Here are some topics within this area that you could research on for your media dissertation.
The growth of mass communication and the technology to enable this communication has brought many benefits. However, there are some significant problems because it has enabled governments to access individual’s private communications with greater ease. This includes ISP addresses asking for personal information on access and Internet providers allowing government access. Does this mean that although mass communication has benefits it also has significant problems? An important issue to many would mean any of the following topics could create a useful and well-read media dissertation.
Social networks, such as Facebook, are changing the way that many people use the Internet, and are changing the face of the distinction of private and mass communication. If the area of communication and social networks interests you, you could write about any of the following topics for your media dissertation.
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