Past studies conceived of journalists-audience relations as largely dyadic, highlighting the interaction between the two sides. The current study argues that such a conceptualization should now be modified to fit today’s media environment, where these interactions obtain on social media platforms. Through a process of platformization—the subjugation of news production to social media logic—these platforms are reshaping journalists’ and social-media editors’ conceptions regarding audience, its role in news production, and its expectations vis-à-vis the newsroom. These beliefs translate into news professionals’ everyday practices as concerns contact with audiences, and ultimately influence news production. Based on interviews with 18 social-media editors and 24 journalists, the study demonstrates how each of the above relational aspects has been modified in line with social media’s economic, governmental and infrastructural logic. It also shows how, due to their diverging goals, news organizations and journalists have come to cultivate a semi-autonomous relationship with audience members, thus introducing new tensions into the newsroom.
- Audience-journalist relationship
- inclusion expectations
- journalists-editors' relations
- media logic
- social media