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Journalists´ perceptions of audience studies

Conference paper
Authors Ulrika Andersson
Published in ECREA´s 2nd ECC Barcelona 2008 Conference, Spain, 25-28 November
ISBN 9788449025693
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords journalists, audience studies
Subject categories Media and Communications


Until the mid-1990s, audience studies were mainly considered as a matter of the marketing departments in Swedish media. However, a changing media mar-ket has forced managing editors and their co-workers to reconsider this matter. Facing a decreasing number of readers, listeners and viewers - a consequence of growing media markets and increasing competition for the media audience – many Swedish news media have found it nessesary to incorporate audience studies as a strategical tool for the editorial departments, in order to keep up with the competition. But how do professional journalists´ perceive the in-creased focus on audience studies? The purpose of this paper is to study Swedish journalists´ perceptions in this matter. Two questions will be answered: 1) What are professional journalists´ perceptions of audience studies? 2) Do the perceptions differ depending on the journalists´ gender and age? The results point to a pending perception of audience studies among profes-sional journalists. These studies might bring some advantages to the editorial staff, but is also perceived as resource demanding. Young females express a more positive attitude to audience studies, whereas older, male journalists ap-pear more critical. The paper discusses the perception of audience studies to be a matter of role perceptions and experience. The study is based on a national survey of professional journalists in Swe-den, carried out by the Department of Journalism and Communication (JMG), University of Gothenburg, in 2005. The analysis includes 750 journalists work-ing at daily newspapers, broadcasting media and periodicals.

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