As I have been preparing for this internship in the past few months, I have started to determine my expectations/goals for this internship. I hope to create a cohesive, working project that reflects a well-thought out research process regarding topics I am very passionate about. While many aspects of my project are still evolving (and a very necessary goal is to make my ideas more concrete), I know that the intersection of college media, campus politics, and current events is essential to my project. These topics are very important to me for various reasons. As a involved member of The Lafayette, I am very interested in how college media sources have reported on political events that affect college students both historically and currently. I also have always been inspired by the activism on college campuses and how students, represented by college media, can make policy changes on campuses. I am also vested in learning about how student-run media sources act a response to administrative media/advertising, and the tension that emerges there.
In terms of what is important to keep and what is flexible, I want my main source of data to be newspaper archives from various colleges around the country. I’d like to include Lafayette as one of the colleges I look at. In terms of flexibility, I am very flexible as to what the final project looks like. I’m hoping to discover interesting tools to visualize my data. I also need to narrow my ideas down, so I am open to what direction my project takes for the most part, as long as the core ideas stay the same.
I foresee quite a few challenges with my project. First of all, narrowing down my topic so I can create a research question will require careful thought. I intend on focusing in on one or two social/political issues to look at. At this point, I am equally interested in the movements of co-education and women’s rights on college campuses as well as historical and current movements led by students of color at predominantly white institutions. I also will have to choose a time period. I imagine this will require me learning a bit of code, which may be a challenge as well. I also will have to do some substantial background research in order to Overall, specificity is what I will need in order to make my project work within the time constraints. Part of this will be narrowing down which types of colleges I plan to look at as well as how many years back I decide my time frame to be. This all depends on how difficult and/or time-consuming my data collection method ends up being. I do not anticipate resources being a problem, unless there are copyright issues with using other colleges’ newspapers.