Mass Media Research: An Introduction (7th Edition)
Authors: Wimmer, R.D. & Dominick, J. R.
Publication: Wadsworth
Price: $ 32.92
Review by : Mr.K.S.Kusuma
Mass Media Research in India is offered as a compulsory paper at postgraduate level and undergraduate level courses. These vary from Journalism, Mass Communication, Public relations, Mass Media etc. Research books on Mass Media by Indian writers are almost insignificant in number. The debate of whether these courses to be treated as part of social sciences or professional studies still a debate in Indian Higher education. But the nature and applicability of these courses made these courses has been considered as one of the social science branches. Since the perspectives, theories and practices are adopted from various social sciences like sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, history etc., the research practices also allow the same social science methodologies, tools and techniques to be used in mass media research.

Even though the social science research books are used as reference material for mass media research, there is a strong requirement for the communication insights, media examples and case studies to explain these methodologies for mass media or communication research purposes.

Keeping the above expectation and requirement in mind, 'Mass Media Research: An Introduction' by Roger D. Wimmer, Joseph R. Dominick is a useful resources for teachers and students. This is refered by many Indian and foreign universities as text book in this field. In this book each method has been explained step by step, with suitable examples, where the teachers of a particular country can replace them with the culturally viable examples and case studies. The introductory chapter 'The Research Process' is an overview of the introduction to the scientific orientation. But this is not sufficient for in depth understanding of the debates in philosophy of research traditions.

In the second chapter, 'Elements of Research' levels of measurements and rating scales has been explained lucidly. But discussion of variables in depth is a major lacuna. Sampling chapter is explained with box items, case studies made this topic simple and engaging. Some of the research methods like ethnographic, case study, historical, semiotic are have not dealt in depth like content analysis or survey methods.

The major strength of this text book is the 'Introduction to Statistics' as chapter 10. This is one of the neglected part of research in Indian media education and better to mention that it is made the most tough job for media or communication research students. This breaks the myth and allows the practitioner to learn statistics step by step.

Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 deal with research applications in various media like print, television, internet public relations, advertising etc. These examples and case studies are quite useful to apply theories and research methods to analyse the processes of media and communication.

The formatting of the book will trigger interest in any reader. some of them are index of the topics covered in each chapter, diagrams, box items-some of them titles 'An Inside look' will give a possible alternative dimension then the chapter content. Key terms at the end of the chapter and internet sources for the topics discussed in the chapters are added advantage. For teachers and research students, elaborate references and questions and problems for further investigations sections proved worth keeping this a compulsory source for mass media research. For the quick reference, the name index, glossary and elaborate bibliography strengthens the desire for a mass media researcher to have a copy of their own.

I would suggest the student researchers to have a quick look at last chapters on researching various media for easy understanding of the research applications.

Finally an added advantage is that useful website of Wimmer and Dominick ( will give access to teachers and students to share their experiences, resources, and problems in research. Re-search doctor is an exciting area for young researchers to pose their queries to the authors.

Mr. K. S. Kusuma is a faculty in AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi