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Audience Insight

This is an introductory course in qualitative and quantitative audience research for journalists. The class blends background material from the behavioral sciences with techniques used in practice and focuses in three general areas:

  1. The logic, implementation and analysis of primary research
  2. The ability to evaluate the quality, usefulness and appropriateness of research and results from other sources
  3. The applicability of research to the practice of journalism.

The virtuous relationship between community and news media use is well established in the literature and commonly accepted in the journalism business. This class examines methods journalists can use to research consumer behavior and understand audiences, particularly in terms of media behavior and preferences.

You will learn a framework for analyzing audience behavior and focus on developing audience insight. Topics include the cognitive, affective and behavioral processes underlying the choices audiences make (needs, perceptions, attitudes); descriptive audience characteristics (demographics, psychographics, VALS); and environmental influences on behavior (culture, family, economic situation). You will also learn how to develop successful ideas for editorial products (publications, broadcasts, digital formats) by analyzing the audience needs and desires.