Focusing on media. Wow. They should try that in biology too. No Darwinism. Just facts.
Okay but now, re the new journal:
How much should researchers invest in answering what versus why and how? Will your work be better if it investigates a hypothesis that might explain a phenomenon? Or would it be more useful to make your goal simply to describe that phenomenon?
In the field of media research, those on Team Describe got a valuable new ally today: a new publication called the Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media. Its co-founders are Princeton’s Andy Guess, the University of Zurich’s Eszter Hargittai, and Penn State’s Kevin Munger, all of whom work on issues in and around journalism.Joshua Benton, “No explaining allowed! A new journal promises just-the-facts description, not theory or causality” at Nieman Labs (August 26, 2021)
For example, from the guidelines for the new Journal of Quantitative Description, some stuff they don’t like:
2. Lack of clear standards for substantive importance. The topics that are deemed important too often reflect path dependence, the biases of established scholars and institutions, approved theoretical frameworks from the dominant canon, and the focus of media interest. The whiplash of the past few years of digital media research, the attention paid first to “echo chambers,” then to “fake news,” now to “radicalization,’ is inimical to the accumulation of knowledge. All of these topics are worth studying, but we need a more stable metric for “topical importance” than media attention.
Now, bunnies, one SERIOUS problem with all this is an end to the Sokal hoaxes that have made the social sciences so entertaining in recent years.
On the other hand, maybe they need someone or other attending to real stuff now and then.
Hat tip: Pos-darwinista