Audience should be considered in editorial decisions to a certain extent. Yes, audiences are who you’re delivering the news to, so you have to be clear and precise in your writing or in your reporting to get them to understand what you’re talking about.
But, in terms of swaying the news a certain way to get audiences to agree with you is wrong because then you’re fabricating the news and only telling/showing one side of the story instead of all sides of the story. In that case, audiences shouldn’t be considered in that aspect of editorial decisions. But then audiences may become upset if the news doesn’t match their beliefs and be critical of the news. Journalists shouldn’t let audiences control the news, but should consider showing much human interest stories for audiences to relate to and feel heartfelt about while still being able to tell the hard news.
Audiences should also be considered in editorial decisions because as a reader of the news, audiences want to be able to not have to spend 10-15 minutes reading a lengthy article, so editors have to make sure to structure news articles to where the important information is at the top and lesser information is at the bottom, and then audiences can find the point of the story fairly quickly.
The textbook agrees with my statement on page 220. “… the information that people need in order to be communicators within a community gets squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces. The more papers attempt to make news items shorter and more accessible, sometimes stripping all but the most exciting facts…”
Source: Plaisance, Patrick Lee. Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice. SAGE, 2014.