18 maggio 2016

In this page you find some preliminary ideas related to our work here at PiCME. We meet regularly to discuss our research project. And here you find some internal documents that we produced during our brainstorming sessions on different topics – from theoretical discussions to empirical materials.

They are not published works and they are sometimes pretty messy. Or they include ideas that we decided to discard in the making of the research project. But they give you an idea about how PiCME developed over all these months.

Research Design Documents 

Here are a couple of documents that Alice Mattoni used to share her preliminary thoughts on the research design during one of the COSMOS Share meetings at the Isituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali:

  • some slides to support the presentation of the PiCME research project
  • a short outline of the PiCME research project, still in its infancy at this point

Participants at the COSMOS Share meetings are academics in the field of political sciences, political sociology and media studies. Their feedback has been really valuable and here are some comments that our colleagues made on the PiCME research design.

Comparing Media Systems in the Digital Age 

One relevant dimension to reconstruct the media infrastructure in which political participation occur are media systems. We draw on the work of scholars who used this concept – among whom Hallin and Mancini and Chadwick – to propose our own interpretation and operationalization of media systems. Here are a couple of pictures that functions as visual notes related to our ongoing work to revise our analytical framework to compare media systems in the digital era and the related variables/indicators: we already updated some of the variables and indicators, but the pictures represents our starting point.


list of potential indicators for media systems variables


preliminary revision of the Hallin and Mancini theoretical framework









We are drafting a couple of papers on this topic and here are the slides for the ECREA conference in November 2016 that summarize the main points of the first one, mostly devoted to the theorization of our analytical framework to compare media systems in the digital age.

Methodological tools to do research on media practices?

One of the three pillars of PiCME is the understanding of which media practices sustain processes of political participation and mobilization in complex media environments. With this aim in mind, this part of the PiCME research is constructing a qualitative methodological tool able to grasp the role of media practices in the daily lives of people who are actively involved in the political realm, including activists, politicians and journalists.

picme mapping device 1

brainstorming on mapping tools for media practices – part 1

picme mapping device 2

brainstorming on mapping tools for media practices – part 2

As our latest brainstorming session suggests (see pictures above), we are planning to couple cognitive mapping with in-depth interviewing: other colleagues already used maps to reconstruct media practices in different realms than political participation and mobilization, and we are developing our own mapping tools to compare media practices across countries and (contentious) issues. We are still at the early stage of such research stage, whose output will be a methodological paper and, of course, the methodological tool in itself that we hope will inspire further research on this topic.

(updated 10 February 2017)