Enhancing Media Literacy Through Content Analysis: A Comparison of Historic Speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Implications for the Present


In the contemporary global era of false or misleading news spread rapidly by online social media, the need for enhanced media literacy and advanced critical thinking skills has become increasingly urgent. Responsible and accountable political leadership based on reliable and consistent facts and reporting is essential for the development of national and international policies which promote and support a sustainable world. Content analysis can be employed as a useful tool to enhance media literacy by systematically analyzing, evaluating, and comparing media reports and speeches by public officials. Researchers can use a coding procedure to identify and group various units of text to detect key patterns and themes. Content analysis is an objective, systematic, and effective method to improve media literacy and critical thinking skills by combining quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Factors such as the frequency of various vocabulary items and the lexical density of a written text can be measured by content analysis (Creswell, 2005). This presentation demonstrates the practical use of content analysis by examining the first and third inaugural addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt and uses both manifest and latent coding to detect stylistic and thematic similarities between the two different texts from the same source. Manifest coding involves the surface level features of a text that are clearly visible to the reader, while latent coding is used to detect deeper, underlying levels of meaning and major themes (Neuman, 2003). Implications for analyzing and understanding contemporary media reports and political discourse are also addressed.

Author Information
Nathaniel Edwards, Yamaguchi National University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2018
Stream: Cultural and Media Studies

This paper is part of the ACSS2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon