The importance of an audience


In Chapter 9, Briggs discusses the importance of having your work being viewed or even read because without someone interacting with your work, can you really call yourself a journalists?

The chapter goes into great detail about how over time in the journalism field the marketing and advertising of journalists work has completely changed due to the rise of digital media. It was a game changer for the journalism field. That’s right people, media has forever been changed into this constant, easy click, multidimensional thing that will never go back to the way it was. Whether or not that’s a good thing or not, is your opinion but that’s a debate for a later time.

The chapter further talks about the most important things that are needed in order to build an online audience they are content tracking, Web analytics, search engine optimization, effective headline writing for the Web and social media and finally distribution and engagement through social media.

Essentially all these big words break down the simple truth that we all know, that in order for something to succeed people have to know about and want to have the desire to learn more. Basically what I am saying is that journalists and media companies need to know who their audience is and what exactly do they want to know about. It seems simple enough but is actually a more complicated process than one might think.

I mean now journalism is so complicated, before you just took something to the printing press and had it printed up then your news would eventually be distributed around. Later on these printing presses went full scale, not requiring individuals to run them, but instead being run by machines. This made news faster, easier and cheaper to print. Now though, one doesn’t just write a story and wait for the news to travel. They tweet about there article, share it constantly on social media, change the headline to try to get as much click traffic as possible.

It seems to me and I think I can say this because I am a journalism major in college. That we have lost a bit of the humanistic approach to news with the launch into digital media. That now everything can be recorded on a cell phone camera and that the person in the video becomes a sensation instead of who they really are, a person. That they become a funny or sad Vine video, a popular hashtag on Twitter and a meme on Facebook or Instagram. That even with all this wonderful technological advancement and able to bring journalism, which was at one point a dying field back to life is amazing, yet I think we have lost a little more than in what we gained.

I love how this chapter focuses on building your audience through specific social media and web sites. That it is very important to track your audience and know what they want to see or hear. However, I think the chapter fails to tell us about how this tracking and social media has changed us in some way. That now when we see a video of someone getting shot by the police, like many that we have seen recently. That we become desensitized to the fact that that was a human being, that was someone’s mother, brother, father or even child. That maybe instead of trying to appeal to our audience through so many digital way, that instead we try the humanistic approach first.

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