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Talking to People II: Qualitative Interviews

  • Martine van Selm
  • Natali Helberger
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, we explain how qualitative interviews with citizens can be a valuable method for media policy research. We highlight a number of methodological principles, such as the importance of sensitizing concepts, sampling and saturation, as well as validity and reliability. We explain these principles in more depth by critically reflecting on the way in which they were applied in two interview studies among viewers of current affairs programs and French chefs, respectively. An important objective of this chapter is to not only point to the benefits of interview research, or how to conduct interviews, but to also draw awareness to possible pitfalls, problems of validity and generalizability. Particularly in situations in which interviews must serve as input for policy research and advice, it is important that the policy researcher is well aware of both the opportunities and the limitations of interview research. A challenge for researchers that wish to use the insights from interviews is, therefore, to find ways of translating the insights from interviews into the language and logic of law and policy.

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Further Reading

  1. Brinkman, S., & Kvale, S. (2015). InterViews: Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing (3rd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Guest, G., Bunce, A., & Johnson, L. (2006). How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods, 18(1), 59–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Leeuw, F. L. (2016). Empirical legal research: A guidance book for lawyers, legislators and regulators. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2014). Communication research methods. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martine van Selm
    • 1
  • Natali Helberger
    • 2
  1. 1.Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)UvAAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for Information Law (IVIR)UvAAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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