MEDIA AUDIENCE EMERGENCE AS FORCES TO BE RECKONED WITH IN THE INTERNET AGE

Kris Martins Obiaje, Omowale T. Adelabu (PhD)

Abstract


This paper aims to examine the traditional concept of the audience as mere listeners, viewers or readers of mass media content in the light of the advent of the New media which has given them new and multiple roles in the communication process and the role of the mass media as a one-time all-powerful information purveyor— both of which is undergoing tremendous changes in the digital age. The multiplication of media channels and sources has reorganized the audience configuration—along-time collective term for the receivers in the simple sequential model of the mass communication process—source-channel-message-receiver-effect-feedback and the media and communication industry have witnessed an irreversible revolution as it has to do with the nature and behaviour of the mass media audience occasioned by the digital age. Therefore, employing causal explanatory research design, while using literature review as a research instrument; this paper examined the changing roles of the media audience, beginning from the Mass Society, Hypodermic Needle and Magic Bullet research era to the ongoing User-generated content, mass involvement, citizens journalism revolution. The paper put forward that since the audience, having been empowered by the New media to free itself from the earlier 'manipulative' influence of the traditional media have assumed the role of content creators—the time is now ripe for scholars and researchers in the field of media and communication studies to reappraise the audience configuration and continue the design and redesign of new models of communication to put the audience in the digital age in proper perspective.


Keywords


Media Audience, Citizens Journalism, Internet Age, Audience Behaviour, Media Access.

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