The relationship of journalism to its audience is changing, and this has consequences for the emergence of journalistic statements. This project of the DFG examines the re-figuration of audience relationships in journalism.
Different forms of “measuring” as well as the participation of the audience have long been part of journalistic routines. The re-figuration of the relationship with the audience in journalism, however, is characterised by a fundamental expansion of the journalistic task of production and distribution of content, such as enabling and managing the connecting communications, networking, interaction or even collaboration of and with users. This has a lasting influence on how journalism, its products, achievements and overriding social function are “thought”, created, distributed, used and assessed. However, this re-figuration does not happen in all journalistic organisations or among all journalists at the same time or in the same way. Especially journalistic start-ups often put a new understanding of the relationship to the audience in the centre of their ideas and the organisation of journalism.
The DFG-funded project, which was developed within the research network 'Communicative Figurations
', considers these phenomena to be intertwined and takes this into account in an empirical-analytical three-step-process. First, the relationships between the audience and journalists are reconstructed in all facets (understanding of roles in journalism, image of the audience, forms of participation, datafication of the audience, etc.). Secondly, we will analyse how these relationships influence the emergence of journalistic statements. Thirdly, both will be examined by comparing different organisational contexts in which journalists work, such as established media organisations or journalistic start-ups. For this purpose, interviews with journalists on the development of contributions will be conducted and combined it with a diary app, in which they document and evaluate relevant audience contact. Content analyses of the contributions and related statements by the audience as well as network analyses of the audience’s distribution of articles in social networks will be carried out.