Mass Communication Topics for Research Papers

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Research in mass communication allows students to analyze data, trends and issues facing the mass media. Good research topics begin with a thesis statement and use the body of the paper to address issues and answer questions about the topic. Students should use Internet and library resources to find scholarly publications, newspapers, magazines and statistics to gather information for their topic.

1 Advertising

Mass communication research topics in advertising can focus on technique, strategy and culture. Topics about technique and strategy can address using advertorials, featuring celebrity pitches, tapping into human emotion and allowing pictures to sell a product without any words. This research can center on issues such as the benefits or detriments of each, the costs associated with doing a good advertising campaign and the demographics that work best. In research topics about culture, students can examine how what works in one culture may not work in another. Analyzing how a company markets the same product to different countries based on their culture makes for interesting research and teaches students about global advertising. In addition, students can also look at dishonesty in advertising and political advertising.

2 Broadcast

Broadcast research topics focus on two main areas: television and radio. Topics in television can address changes in television such as black and white to high-definition, the influence of cable television on the four major networks, portrayal of women on television (both news programs and shows) and the influence of television on areas such as politics, family and education. Radio research can center on the rise of AM radio talk shows, radio’s early influence to spread news and information and the future of radio broadcasting. Research topics can also address issues such as syndication, decline of quality radio and television journalism and costs associated with broadcasting and ownership.

3 Newspapers

Topics about journalism can focus on the influence of newspapers on politics and world events and the role they play in recording history; researchers can center on newspaper editorials and how they shape policy and a national dialogue on issues. Topics on trends can begin with historical items such as the penny press, weekly newspapers and the initial fight for press freedoms. Looking to the future, research can analyze how newspapers will use social media and the Internet to expand their readership, find ways to make money and cover news as it happens.

4 Internet

The expansive growth of the Internet throughout the world makes it a great research topic in mass communication. Ideas can focus on access and influence that affect most other forms of mass media. Research topics about access can address growth of portability of the Internet thanks to mobile devices; research can also analyze how poorer countries make Internet access available to the masses. Students can do research on the Internet’s influence on advertising and television. They can also focus on the Internet’s effects on businesses, such as shopping, looking for a job and making business more efficient.

Researchers will find the latest information in this area of mass communication in journals and newspapers rather than books.

Alex Barski began writing professionally in 2006. He is a former television news reporter now working in news management and has written for regional magazines and business journals in Pennsylvania. Barski has also served as a college professor, teaching courses in mass media and writing. He has a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and English from King's College.