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May 07 , 2010

The Audience in the News


In recent years, communication scholars have taken a renewed interest in analyzing the audience and its impact on the communication process. Similarly, news editors and producers have often turned toward a marketing orientation which seeks to give new readers and viewers what they want, or at least what they say they want. Yet, there has still been little written about just how the audience factors into the news which is produced. Seeking to fill that niche, this book argues that audience images are quite important in the construction of news, but not easily detected. That is because journalists are not principally interested in their audience; they are interested in the news.

USE THIS PARAGRAPH ONLY FOR GENERAL CATALOGS... This volume argues that although journalistic images of the audience may be "incomplete," they do exist and powerfully help shape the work of journalists in producing journalistic texts. Using a case study of news workers and news texts at two Chicago newsgathering organizations, the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV, this book:
* examines notions of audience and how they have been treated by academicians,
* presents a detailed description of the ways in which audience is embedded within the news construction process,
* presents a very representative set of journalistic news values,
* presents differing ideas of audience at three key levels of the news organizations – reporters and news gatherers, editors and producers, and senior editors, producers, and news directors, and
* seeks to summarize and position this study within the larger body of mass communication research.
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