Student Introduction to Media and Midwifery Project

Hello, my name is Grace G and I will be one of the contributors to this blog. I am a seventeen-year-old A level student who hopes to study biomedicine at university in the near future as I hope to have a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, I am studying Biology, chemistry, Geology and Maths. For a long time, I have had an interest in human health (some of my favourites being genomics, immunology and virology) and taking part in research has long since been something I’ve wished to take part in.

Bournemouth University has kindly offered me a research placement as part of the Nuffield research scheme so for the coming weeks I will be working with the journalism and communication department to contribute to their media and midwifery project. This project will be a glimpse into how pregnancy and labour are portrayed by the media and how this affects the perception of its viewers when making decisions regarding childbirth (so if they decide to have an intervention or a natural birth as an example).

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be interested in this research because it’s a little different to what I usually prefer to study but now I think it’ll be an engaging project that I will find enjoyable and learn a lot of skills valuable from. We will be reading journal articles, analysing Twitter hashtags and Facebook groups and carrying out a survey in an effort to come to a conclusion. Not too long ago we all met at Bournemouth University for an introduction day. We all introduced ourselves and then we took to various social media sites (including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to get an idea of what was being posted. Afterwards, we went through various research techniques, such as qualitative and quantitative methods like interviews, focus groups, content analysis, cohort studies and surveys. This was followed by going through the university databases and reading journal articles. We subsequently learnt how to write annotated bibliographies so we could record the articles that were relevant and familiarised ourselves with referencing in the Harvard style. It was very insightful because when studying at college there is nothing to teach you about how to write a paper or what time and effort goes into research, so so far I am very thankful for this placement.

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