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The anarchic audience: a case study

Phillips, G.ORCID: 0000-0002-3491-2441 and Balnaves, M. (2002) The anarchic audience: a case study. Australian Journalism Review, 24 (1). pp. 83-97.

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The new media environment has brought with it increasing dissatisfaction with the information which quantitative analysis of audience numbers gives to those most interested - and this includes program makers, their bosses (be they in commercial or public broadcasting), and the advertisers. For all these interest groups conventional ratings methodologies have allowed them to assess the size of the audience they can reach. However numbers on their own haven't been able to tell them whether the audience members physically present for a broadcast are actually registering the content in a meaningful way. This paper describes a qualitative study of the radio audience in Perth, Western Australia which trialled a new methodology to allow the listeners themselves to be heard. In the process it also tested some of the assumptions that media professionals make about listener reaction to programs. The study indicates that radio listeners. no less than television viewers or Internet users, are anarchic and untameable, and furthermore have a far more sophisticated grasp of the medium than planners and programmers may give them credit for.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: Journalism Education Association
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