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Associated Press – shocked by the value of enthnography

3 June, 2008

At the World Editors Forum in Goteborg, Sweden, today AP presented a paper produced by Baltimore-based Context-Based Research Group who conducted a research study around the world into how young people read news.

The report is available from:

This document provides an interesting example of how corporate ethnography is presented to businesses. Short bite sized recommendations grounded in research. The report tries to address the complexity of real world situations. It’s causing quite a stir around my workplace.

A good read for those who are considering venturing into the world of corporate ethnography.

The interesting part for me lies in the forward of the report, it reads:

“An analyst on the planning staff suggested doing an “ethnography” of young adult consumers and after a quick Google search to understand exactly what that meant, we decided to give it a try.

To be frank, our expectations were modest. We sought some real people to put a human face on the accelerating shift to online and mobile consumption of news around the world. We knew young people were at the leading edge of that movement and a cultural science study of their media habits sounded like fun.

In the end, it proved to be as transformative as it was fun. The human stories were only the start. From there, the professional anthropologists we commissioned to conduct the research created a model for news delivery that distilled the challenge to its essential elements.”

Fun and transformative, that’s a start I guess.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 3 June, 2008 11:37 pm

    Hey Stephen. Thanks for posting — great to see you active in the blog again!


  1. snippets of media, anthropology, design, culture and politics.
  2. Four Stone Hearth #42 « Neuroanthropology

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