Journalists, like all media producers, depend on their audiences for both societal relevance and economic stability. A news story that exposes government corruption, for example, is unlikely to result in any sort of reaction unless that story first grabs the attention of the public. And news organizations are unlikely to survive financially unless they reach a group of people large enough—or loyal enough—to make advertising- or subscription-supported revenue models feasible. Journalism does not solely comprise reporting, writing, and publishing the news—it also includes the act of building and maintaining audiences, groups of people who are willing and able to consume the news.

Consequently, journalists have always considered their audiences in one way or another as they have gone about performing their duties. Although the tools journalists ...

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