People like us versus Statistical representations of readers
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This paper examines an under-researched issue, that of regional journalists' ideas of readership. It looks at the journalists' constructions of readership in light of statistical data which profile newspaper readers in a regional area. The paper investigates the journalists' constructions of readership and then compares these to pictures of readership which emerged from a survey undertaken through an independent surveying body. It does this in an attempt to provide hard data rather than supposition about one facet of the reader-journalist relationship. The similarities and contradictions between the sets of data are explored. In doing so this paper concludes that while there is some relationship between the two pictures of readership which emerge from the data, some groups remain overlooked by both approaches. Therefore, journalists need to ensure their conception of readership includes more than the narrow ideas they currently have or those presented by the survey information.
Australian Studies in Journalism
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