For Participants

Tell us your thoughts about images used in the news

We want to understand the effects that news images have, and to do this, we want to talk to you about what you think.

This webpage contains information for people who are interested in participating in our research. Here you will find all you need to know about participating in the project, including information on what the project is about, what taking part involves, and why the research matters. Click on ‘Information about the project for participants’ below to find out more.

If you are interested in taking part in the research or want to learn more about the project please contact us.

If you have agreed to participate in the research, you will need to sign the consent from and fill in the ‘Tell us about you’ form before taking part in an interview or focus group. Click on ‘Giving informed consent’ and ‘Tell us about you’ for instructions on how to do this.

Thank you in advance for your contribution to our research!

Information about the project for participants

Before you decide whether or not to participate, it is important for you to understand why the research is being undertaken and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully. Feel free to ask us if anything is unclear or if you would like more information.

What is the project’s purpose?

The study is about images in the news. We want to know whether images have an impact on audience perception, knowledge and engagement with issues.

We will share what we learn through our research with news and fact-checking organisations, so that their future work with images reflects the views of the public. We will publish the research results in academic journal articles, and we will host an exhibition about our work.

Why have I been approached?

Research has shown that different people engage with news in different ways. We are carrying out our research with people from different backgrounds and communities to gain further insights into this, and ensure our research is representative of UK society. You have been approached because you are a member of one of the groups/communities we want to talk to.

Do I have to take part?

It is completely up to you whether or not to take part. If you do decide to participate, you will be asked to tell us a bit about yourself and to sign a consent form. You can withdraw from the project anytime before September 2022. There will be no negative consequences or questions asked. If you wish to withdraw from the research please email us.

What will happen next if I take part?

If you agree to take part, you will be given an information sheet and a privacy notice. You will also be asked to complete a consent form. You will be able to keep a copy of the these documents. We will also retain them for our records.

You will be invited to tell us about yourself by filling in a form (see ‘Tell us about you’ below), and to participate in an interview, on your own, or with family or friends (interviews will last approx. 60 minutes). We will ask you to share your experience, thoughts, and feelings about images in the news. It would be great if you can bring two or three images you have seen in the news that you find meaningful.  

You can choose to do the interview online or face-to-face. If it’s online, you will need to have access to the internet and a device such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. We will use a video conferencing platform that you’re familiar with and that enables us to share screens and record our conversation. A link to the interview will be sent to you prior the interview. We can provide technical assistance if you have any questions. If it’s face-to-face, the location of the interview will be agreed between you and one of us, based on your convenience. 

Are there any risks in taking part?

We do not foresee any disadvantages or risks to taking part in this project.

It is possible, however, that talking about some images in the news may remind you of negative experiences relating to this topic or other aspects of your life. If this happens, you should let the researcher(s) know immediately and you are free to decline to answer any questions without giving a reason or facing any consequence. Remember that participation is voluntary, and you are free to withdraw without giving a reason or facing any negative consequences. If you need support addressing negative experiences, we recommend that you contact professional organisations such as Citizen Advice or Samaritans.

What are the benefits of taking part?

On an individual level, taking part in this research gives you an opportunity to discuss and think about important issues. We hope that you will find the experience enjoyable and rewarding.

You will be given a £10 Prezzee gift card when you have completed the research to thank you for your participation. You will also be invited to our project exhibitions.

On a broader level, you will be helping us understand the role that images in the news play on culture and society.

Will my participation be kept confidential?

All information we collect about you during the research will be stored on the password-protected, secure University of Leeds drive. Only the named researchers will have access to personal data (i.e. the consent forms) to ensure your anonymity. Data handling, processing, storage and destruction procedures will be in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018). You will not be identifiable in any reports or publications. Further information can be found in the University’s Privacy Notice.

What will happen to the data collected, and the results of the results of the project?

The interview will be recorded. Immediately following the interview, the recording will be transferred to a secure university server and deleted from the recording device. It will then be securely sent to a professional transcription company; a data confidentiality agreement will be signed prior to any data transfer. Upon receiving the transcript, a member of the research team will anonymise the transcript. You will be given a pseudonym by the project team, and identifiable features will be removed from the transcripts. The recoding will then be deleted from the secure sever.

Your name and contact details will be kept in a password protected file in a separate section of the project drive to the transcripts.

The result of this research will be published in reports and journal articles that will be publicly available. You will not be identifiable in any published results.

It is possible that other researchers may find the data we collect on this project to be useful in their future research. To make this possible, we would like to make the data available in a data archive. We will ask for your explicit consent for your data to be shared in this way. Only the anonymised transcript will be shared.

The University of Leeds is the Data Controller of this study and is responsible for looking after your information and using it properly.

Who can I contact if I have further questions or wish to complain about the research?

If you would like further information on this research, or have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us.

If you feel your complaint has not been handled to your satisfaction you can contact Professor C.W. Anderson, who will then escalate the complaint through the appropriate channels.

Giving informed consent

To participate in our research, we need your informed consent. If you would like to participate, please email us.

If you have agreed to participate, you can provide your informed consent by:

Tell us about you

To help us interpret what we learn through our research, we would like to know more about you. Please fill in our ‘Tell us about you’ form. You can do this by:

  • Filling an online version of the form here, OR
  • Downloading this document, filling it in and emailing it to us, OR
  • Requesting the form in the post by emailing us and posting it back to us. A pre-paid return envelope will be provided