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Martin Barker, a distinguished scholar of media audiences, heads an international research team which is trying to monitor global response to the Lord of the Rings movies. They are combining web-based surveys with focus groups and ethnographic research into fan communities. The development of a global research team to understand worldwide response to a global media franchise is perhaps the first project ever done on this scale. The results will ultimately be pulled together into an anthology which helps us to better understand the local particulars in the consumption of global media. Lord of the Rings is interesting because it is a series of films made by a New Zealand filmmaker and based on a British novel being circulated around the planet by an American distribution company. If you would like to participate in their study, go to this site.

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