Repertoire mapping in qualitative interviews

In various research projects within the research network, approaches to egocentric network mapping were adapted to visualize patterns of media use (repertoire maps) or the actor constellation and information sources of journalists’ audience-relationships in qualitative interviews.

In the DFG project "Public Connection: Individuals' media repertoires and the re-figuration of publics", repertoire mapping techniques are employed to visualize i) the overall media repertoire of an interview partner, ii) their relevant communicative figurations or publics and iii) the relevant communicative practices for specific publics.

Through the panel setup we can reconstruct changes in the media repertoire during the pandemic or other (media) transformations. See here an example of the mapping of his media repertoire by Jonas, a 25-year-old trainee for the months of February, April, and September 2020.

In the DFG-funded project "Journalism and its audience: The re-figuration of a relationship and its consequences for news production", we use the method of repertoire mapping as one building block of in-depth interviews with journalists and  test this innovative method from the perspective of journalism research. Specifically, we use repertoire mapping to determine the media and data sources (e.g., user comments or various forms of audience metrics) and actor groups (e.g., colleagues and social media editors) that the interviewed journalists consider relevant to their audience-relationships. During the mapping process, we use the method of "thinking aloud" to collect contextualizing statements from the interviewed journalists on why and how exactly the mapped actors and sources shape their audience-relationship. Images 8 and 9 show the actor constellations as well as media and data sources of the audience-relationships of two journalists compared.


  • Merten, L. (2020). Contextualized repertoire maps: Exploring the role of social media in news-related media repertoires. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2).