Week 15 Blog

At the end of the day, an audience is what will make or break a publication. With the emergence of search engine optimization (SEO) and social media, audiences today are very much active as opposed to passive consumers. While audience consideration is imperative, it is also important to remember journalism’s primary objective, which is to serve as a watchdog.

When considering what to cover in each week’s edition of The Tangerine, I always consider what will be relative to our audience, which is primarily made up of college students. While I want us to report on relevant issues, I also understand that what is relevant to me may not be to our audience. That is why I have found that it is important to find a balance between what readers should know and what they want to know. Obviously, if I were to structure the paper around a certain topic, then I am going to isolate a fair amount of potential consumers because everyone consumes media differently. At the same time, I also think that it is the responsibility of journalists to report what people need to know, not just what they want to hear. However, the power of the media to influence and imply importance by reporting on something comes with great responsibility — this is where the audience-oriented editor working as an intermediary between audience data and a newsroom can come into play. (Ferrer-Conill & Tandoc Jr., 2018)

Whether an editor likes it or not, audience must be considered in the 21st century newsroom given the presence of social media and the role it plays in news gathering. However, there is a fine line between gratifying an audience and educating an audience. Covering what an audience would agree with may work, but it can also lead to confirmation bias.

 

One thought on “Week 15 Blog”

  1. Did you say Confirmation Bias? Brilliant! There is a difference between targeting an audience and knowing your audience. Knowing your audience gives you better knowledge of what your audience should or in your words, Needs to know. Knowing your audience also comes into play for last week’s discussion on how it would have been inappropriate to publish Lance Cpl. Bernard’s photo (dying) in his hometown newspaper or show it on his hometown television newscast. It’s necessary also to draw readership, after all this is a business. But it’s essential, from an ethical standpoint, that we not allow audience to dictate total control, then after all, what would be our purpose? Does that make us Big Brother in a sense?

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