Journalists write news not for themselves but for the audience they are trying to educate on current events. So it only makes sense that the audience then has an enormous influence on how the industry functions and what it should focus on.
However, the most recent trend being driven by the consumer is that of a completely partisan news organization.
Although not a new concept in the media, political ideology has always been a major
rallying point for news consumers. There have always been papers that fall into a more liberal category and papers that have found their home on the conservative side of politics.
Most recently, with the events of the 2016 presidential election, the Internet would make seem like there are only two options, be a hard-core liberal or an alt-right nationalist. Communication scholars report that this new incredibly partisan media does not accurately represent the feelings of a majority of citizens, but that these strong viewpoints easily become “viral” web content.
Technology has dramatically shifted how journalists and consumers create and take in news content. Now individual audience members can directly talk to journalists to voice their opinions, criticize false information, and show support for their beliefs.
News consumers are continuing to force the profession of journalism to address new ways to create, deliver, and talk about the world surrounding them.
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Pew Research Center: Journalism & Media staff. (2010, February 28). Understanding the Participatory News Consumer. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://www.journalism.org/2010/03/01/understanding-participatory-news-consumer/
Karlsson, M., Bergström, A., Clerwall, C., & Fast, K. (2015, February 13). Participatory journalism – the (r)evolution that wasn’t. Content and user behavior in Sweden 2007–2013. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12115/full