Media and Information Literacy | Chapter 3: Audiences

          Audience is one of the most important elements in media. Without audience, media would not have evolved throughout the generation when it had started. When Johan Gutenberg invented the very first printing press, it wouldn’t have been a success if he didn’t have audiences.

          But having an audience also does not make media effective. We need to study and understand our audience in order to reflect it to what we want to show in the world through media.

          Most media and information creators are targeting the mass media—the majority of a certain scope of population. If they want to have the attention of those audiences, they should create something that interests them.

          How do they do that?

          They conduct Audience Research. Audience Research is traditionally about gaining an insight on audience preferences and calibrating audience sizes and reach. Through their research they will gain the information they need in order to know what the mass media are similarly interested at. These audience their aiming, they are what we call target audience.

          Media creators do not only target the mass media, but also consider other groups of audience. Though they are also looking out for those similar attributes of the audience or GEARS:

          Gender

          Ethnicity

          Age range

          Region or nationality

          Socio-economic group

          What media creators create will depend on their target audiences, including how they will create it and how they will deliver it. The concept of a child’s show should be delivered in a way which the children will understand, while an adult’s show can be delivered in an indirect way where people has to figure out what it means.

          Media had enhanced throughout the generation ever since its first invention—and it continues to do so. And it never would have made it this far if it wasn’t for the audience’s participation. To be better media and information creators, understanding the audience is required.