Research and Ethics

via @boboandflex Instagram

Background Research

For my media niche, I’ll be focusing on the podcast Bobo and Flex. Specifically the engagement of the audience on the podcast’s social media platforms and the community that has developed.

The Bobo and Flex podcast was something I engaged with more during the COVID lockdown. In an article by Bullard (2020) he states how online communities “serve as a form of communication among people with similar interests.” As there is quite a large community developed from the audience of the podcast, many were in the same situation and discussions were constant. It created a space where everyone can relate, share information, build online friendships and find support.


Mertens (2014) states “Ethics surrounding the use of qualitative research needs to take into consideration the rigor and ethical nature of the research activities that precede use, as well as those inherently connected with decisions about the use of the data and findings.”When conducting research, it’s most important to take an ethical approach. My observatory and autoethnographic research on the Bobo and Flex podcast will have to involve ethical consideration as there is sensitive and adult themes. It is important to be mindful of certain topics that could potentially offend or upset an individual.

While observing the online community, I will be making references to certain post made by users and describing their content and other people’s input in the discussion but will be mindful and aware to not include their content, names or profiles but instead be presented as notes.

In any research conducted, being honest, truthful and respectful are major. This is similar to 3 simple principles are stated by Ladner (2014):

1. Do no harm.

2. Be open and honest.

3. Gain informed consent.

Having accurate representation of observations allows readers to acknowledge your work and the care and respect you have taken in conducting research.


Bullard, E. (2020) ‘Virtual community’, Salem Press Encyclopedia. Available at:

Ladner Sam (2014) Ethical Ethnography. Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector, Left Coast Press: CA.

Mertens, Donna (2014) Ethical Use of Qualitative Data and Findings, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (Edited by Use Flick), Sage: Los Angeles

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