ARTICLE: The audience expects little of local journalism

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The audience does not expect journalism to meet the ideals described by its consumers, write Scott Eldridge II and John Steel, both of University of Sheffield. The authors sent questionnaires to two local civic groups, and conducted discussion workshops with them. The study described is a part of a longer project intended to redefine the normative expectations of journalism.

Participants to the study seemed to value interpersonal exchanges as news sources and appear disinterested in traditional, local news publications. The audience seemed to hold them in fairly low regard and largely dismiss their consumption.

The participants were also asked to envision their ideal journalism. This ideal, however, by and large conforms to a common journalistic formula. The audience’s ideals and what they perceive local journalism to be are “two different things”, the authors note.

The article Normative Expectations was published by the journal Journalism Studies. It is available online (abstract free).

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