Reviewing the readership: profiles of Central Queensland newspaper readers
This paper sets out to explore the concept of readership through a quantitative examination of Central Queensland newspaper readers. Because most Australian media audience research is undertaken by market research companies on behalf of news media corporations, an independent study of readership is needed in order to reveal data which can be used in future studies of regional newspapers and readership. Such data may also be useful in enabling regional newspapers to begin a process of forming stronger connections with their readers and communities. This paper focuses on data collected about newspaper readers in Central Queensland. While discussing Central Queensland newspaper readers, their demographics and newspaper reading habits more generally, this paper establishes a series of mini-profiles of these newspaper readers and investigates the issues which readers would like to see covered more often or less frequently by the newspapers they use. It suggests that these profiles are important for researchers wanting to investigate media in Central Queensland, and that the profiles may provide interesting comparisons of points from which to undertake readership research in other regions of Australia. As well, this paper suggests that such information is essential if regional newspapers are to fulfil the important role they have in their communities and reflect the concerns of their publics. Finally, this paper argues that such data are essential in the process of improving relations between regional newspapers and their communities, and ensuring they adequately reflect their publics.
Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources