Greg Philio argues that textual analysis is not enough when researching media, on its own textual analysis fails to tell us how the text was produced as well as how it was consumed and interpreted. Philio examines this idea by stating that we fail to know the origins of the media such as where they came from and how they relate to different social interests. It also lacks the possible accounts chosen and the diversity within them as well as the impacts of external factors such as the journalists understanding and what the text actually means to different audiences (Philo, 2007). Philio continues further to state that there are more issues with a text only analysis, the accuracy of representations, the significance the text has on the audience and how it changes in diverse social interests. Philio argues that analysis should explore the accuracy of the text, is it right or wrong? Is it politically significant? A discourse analysis for instance fails to address this point which Philio uses as an example.
In order to overcome these issues raised it requires a method which analyses production, content, reception and social meaning. This can be conducted through interviewing journalists as well as conducting audience studies rather than focusing purely on the media text (Philo, 2007). Fursich (2009) disagrees with Philios critique of textual analysis. Fursich argues that textual analysis does consider context and audiences as long as it’s not conducted in a simplistic way, being a valuable tool of research. In this critique three arguments are addressed, a textual analyst can create different meanings of a text that somebody else would not find , allowing you to create or discover features that the audience would not discover, even p. .
he example of David Morley’s research on TV responses (Morley, 1992). I think this is a more valid source to use when researching media because it allows true immediate responses from participants within a research study. By analysing media texts alone in a textual analysis to me seems partly problematic as it relies on interpretations of the texts as well as potentially cultural competence of an analyst. However, it seems unfair to state that textual analysis has no use for a researcher at all as Philio implies, as mentioned previously they do provide valid data and hidden meanings which a textual analyst has the capability to acknowledge. Also, by analysing a piece of text on its own it shows features of the text which are able to be compared to other pieces of text in order to create patterns and potentially generalize how society is represented in these texts.