4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 15, 2011 1:26 PM by revmk

    Coding Media/Newspaper Articles with FM



      Coding Media/Newspaper Articles with FM



      I am new to FM, so apologies for the probably rather basic questions.

      I use FM for the coding of newspaper articles. I am using a customized layout, where I create a new record for every newspaper article I code. This allows me to copy the article directly into one field and to then read and code it in FM.

      Among other variables I code, I identify (in a pre-determined drop-down menu) every political actor that is mentioned in the article. Furthermore, I want to code whether this political actor can be linked to one of 6 different pre-determined policy issues (e.g. energy, economy, etc.). Finally, I want to code how the political actor judges on this particular policy issue (positive, negative, neutral, or no attribution at all).

      So, for every article (=FM record), 1 or more political actors are identified. For every political actor, 1 policy issue is identified. And if possible, for this actor-issue relationship, an attribution is identified. This could look as the following (for a particular record):

      actor1 --> policy issue 3 --> positive attribution

      actor2 --> policy issue 5 --> neutral attribution

      actor3 --> policy issue 2 --> no attribution identifiable

      actor4 --> no policy issue identifiable (and therefore no attribution identifiable)

      Here are my problems:

      1. How can I link the variables "political actor", "policy issue" and "attribution" in FM, so that I can exploit the links between them not only within one article, but within the entire set of articles. Do I have to create different tables that I link somehow together? And how can I do that?
      2. Since the number of actors per article varies considerably (between 1 and 10 or more), what would you suggest in order to have a layout solution that is both not too difficult to create and easy to manage for data analysis afterwards?

      I also added a screenshot in order to make my problem as clear as possible.

      Thank you very much in advance for your comments & suggestions!!

        • 1. Re: Coding Media/Newspaper Articles with FM

          Hi Nino,

          Am I right in thinking that a policy issue can only have zero or one attribution?

          • 2. Re: Coding Media/Newspaper Articles with FM

            You are correct that you need a set of related tables such as this for your first question:

            Actors, PolicyIssues

            How you relate them depends on the data you put in each record and how you need to link them Presumably an Actor can be linked to many policyIssues records. Will one PolicyIssue record be linked to many Actors? If so, you have a many to many relationship that requires an additional table related like this:


            Actors::__pk_ActorID = Actor_Policy::_fk_ActorID
            PolicyIssues::__pk_IssueID = Actor_Policy::_fk_IssueID

            If not, you have a one to many relationship:


            Actors::_pk_ActorID = PolicyIssues::_fk_ActorID

            The same question must be asked and answered for the relationship betwen Articles and Actors. This would also appear to be a many to many relationship which will also require a join table to implement.

            Here's a demo file that implements a basic many to many relationship and which also includes a few added relationships that illustrate alternative methods for working with such join tables: http://www.4shared.com/file/dZ0bjclw/ManyToManywDemoWExtras.html

            • 3. Re: Coding Media/Newspaper Articles with FM

              Hi RevMK,

              Thank you for your question. Basically, it can have a zero attribution (no attribution identified for actor X and policy issue Y). Instead of giving it a simple binary nature (yes or no attribution), I would like to say also what kind of attribution, e.g.:

              0 = no attribution

              1 = positive attribution

              2 = neutral attribution

              3 = negative attribution

              My unit of analysis are selected newspaper articles (= one FM record per article). In each of them I try to identify all political actors. And for each of these actors I identify one main policy issue and their attribution. Example: "Actor X says nuclear energy is bad". "Actor X" is the actor, "nuclear energy" the the policy issue and "bad" a negative attribution. Of course, this does not always work like that, but that would be the basic idea for the coding. I am pretty sure of what I want to do, I just have difficulties to come up with a FM layout that would allow me to do what I want.

              Can you help me? Don't hesitate to ask for further clarifications!

              Thank you so much for your interest!

              • 4. Re: Coding Media/Newspaper Articles with FM

                Hi Nino,

                Looks like Phil has answered your problem :)