The Audience in the Mind’s Eye: How Journalists Imagine Their Readers

This report, by New York Times editor James G Robinson, is damning in the way it highlights how little audience awareness has improved in so many newsrooms.

As it says itself: “reporters thought about their audiences was remarkably similar to those reported in classic ethnographies of the 1970s.” That's pretty crazy when you think about it.

Key quote? "Input from strangers was often disregarded or dismissed. This instinctive bias toward “known” readers threatened to exclude other, less familiar reader segments, affecting the choices journalists made while selecting, reporting and crafting stories."

Key takeaway? Audience metrics and analytics aren't cutting it in terms of changing the perception of readers meaning journalists don't know if their work is resonating or having impact.

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