Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Three Audiences for Contemporary Journalism

       I have been on a kick lately about the state of journalism. My interest has much to do with the current discussion about fake news, which I covered here., but has even more to do with sensory overload after a particularly brutal election season. The problem is the line between fact and opinion has not only been blurred to practically be non-existent, but news outlets are utilizing the indistinct to compete for attention in a hypermedia environment.
       The three groups are:
1. Social Conservatives
     This audience prioritizes one or more social issues. They are usually motivated by religious concerns, which most often compels them to take a black and white, us versus them worldview. Abortion is murder, guns are necessary because we may have to overthrow the government some day, and all Muslims are terrorists are the sort of resonating ideas with this audience.
2. The Post-Modern Relativists
       This is the audience of those too far too the left for Democrats. They went for Bernie Sanders because Hillary Clinton was a Republican as far as they were concerned. This audience is the uninformed young activists, celebrities with their causes, and the equality for all crowd that demonizes Christianity, corporations and white men.
3. The Business Class
       This is the oddest audience because it can lean to the right or left, but generally suffers an uneasy alliance with either the Social Conservatives or the Post-Modern Relativists. The Business Class cares for its economic interests and is often more willing to comprise on social issues to protect economic interests.
       It presumably goes without saying the first two groups despise one another while Social Conservatives and Post-Modern Relativists often feel betrayed when the business Class chooses economics over idealism on a particular issue. So how do you get these three groups to accept facts over thee deeply held viewpoints? You do not, and that is a huge problem that is only going to get worse in the era of blogs and social media. 

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