Publication, 2020


C. Ortner - Diaries in The SAGE international encyclopedia of mass media and society (Editors: D. Merskin) - SAGE Publications, 2020, pp. 458-459


A diary is a research instrument for collecting information about people’s daily practices and experiences. It can be defined as a document in which a person records certain activities, events, interactions, thoughts, or feelings during a specified period. Diaries have long been used in research that seeks to examine exposure to media, audience behavior, or media experiences. They are also used to deliver regular ratings for media industries. This entry describes different forms of research diaries, discusses advantages and limits of diary surveys, and finally, provides examples of how they are used in media research.