The relationship of journalism to its audience has changed a lot through digital media. While journalists and other media professionals once perceived their audience as an anonymous black box into which they sent and from which they rarely received anything back, today the audience has a more distinct face. On various platforms, journalists are often in permanent exchange with their readers, listeners or viewers, who comment, praise or denounce in real time and thus influence the reporting.
"It has not yet been negotiated what journalism can, should or must achieve in this cultivation of relationships," says journalism researcher Julius Reimer. "Does it have to deal with audience feedback in all its fullness? Does it have to co-moderate or even initiate follow-up communication to journalistic contributions?"
This, he says, is precisely why it is so exciting that research is taking on the journalism-audience relationship. "It has become more differentiated in its approach," says Louise Sprengelmeyer, "also because it is quite easy nowadays to perceive audiences in their diversity and their different expectations in the first place."
In their study on journalism audiences, Louise Sprengelmeyer and Julius Reimer conducted qualitative interviews with over fifty journalists from different media genres and disciplines in Germany and asked them about their experiences in dealing with their own audiences. They were able to distinguish eleven different types of relationships.
About the Study (Link follows soon)
Interview series on the HBI Blog
Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut