What’s Next?: Building On A Successful Audience Turn in Journalism Studies

Peters, C. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


Much of the discussion surrounding the so-called ‘crisis’ or even ‘collapse’ of journalism that accompanied the rise of digital journalism in the early 2000s might have also aptly be characterized as a ‘crisis of audiences’, in terms of not knowing: what news they wanted; were willing to pay for; and journalism’s ongoing public relevance in their everyday lives. In response, scholarship witnessed a resurgence of news audience research attending to this confusion – an ‘audience turn’ that saw researchers trying to uncover how digital news ecologies were changing the ways and reasons people got news, as well as the appropriate conceptual and methodological strategies to uncover this. Given the sheer scope of journalistic change over the past decades, research into news audiences emphasized a number of different trajectories: from shifting digital patterns of consumption, to uses of news on mobile/social media, comparative differences across countries and sociocultural variables influencing use, evaluations of trust, and investigations into what extent journalism still facilitates public connection, amongst others. Accordingly, it is no longer fair to say – as too many still claim – that audiences are ignored in journalism studies. But now that an audience-centred research agenda has taken hold, what are the next steps forward? This talk first outlines why the ‘audience turn’ was a necessary and important corrective in journalism studies. It then looks to see what types questions have been lost along the way, and how we might engineer renewed research inquiries to tackle them.
Period17 Nov 2020
Held atMonash University, Australia
Degree of RecognitionNational