Audience Feedback in the News Media by Bill Reader

By Bill Reader

As lengthy as there was information media, there was viewers suggestions. This ebook offers the 1st definitive historical past of the evolution of viewers suggestions, from the early newsbooks of the sixteenth century to the rough-and-tumble on-line boards of the trendy age. as well as tracing the historic improvement of viewers suggestions, the e-book considers how information media has replaced its method of accommodating viewers participation, and explores how viewers suggestions can serve the desires of either contributors and collectives in democratic society. Reader writes from a place of authority, having labored as a "letters to the editor" editor and has written various study articles essays at the subject over the last 15 years.

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47 The popularity of The Athenian was the result of a complex formula of editorial tactics, not the least of which was constructing a narrative of “community” through the careful selection and editing of audience feedback. The emblem of the Athenian Society illustrates that imagined community48 quite well. At the top of the woodcut is depicted a long table, behind which the bewigged, anonymous gentlemen of the Society sit, reading and discussing the letters handed to them from men and women, scientists and artists, menial laborers and the privileged wives of noblemen, all crowding at the front of the table.

In fact, each newsbook itself became a personality, the nexus of its own community of anonymous reader/contributors, and itself the target of praise from anonymous supporters or denouncement from anonymous critics. ‘PAMPHLETS SCARRILOUS, AND€VILE’ The communities that supported the English newsbooks naturally were just as partisan as the papers themselves, and the rhetorical warfare could at times be vicious, though certainly never as vicious as the physical battles between Royalist and Parliamentarian armies.

Individually, the letters are amusing and interesting, and that alone may be justification enough for comments to figure€more prominently in the historical research€of journalists and journalism scholars. But read together, they construct a small narrative about the United States in 1877, early in the Reconstruction period (the Civil War, which ended in 1865, was still a raw issue). ” In the Midwest, we see rhetoric that reflects lingering frontier attitudes, such as coarse political sniping and the use of firearms to resolve disputes.

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