The Audience in the Mind’s Eye: How Journalists Imagine Their Readers

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A central irony of the newsroom is that while many journalists’ decisions are made with readers in mind, the audiences for their work often remain unfocused, imagined abstractions, built on long-held assumptions, newsroom folklore, and imperfect inference.

This is not particular to journalism. Writing, like reading, is a solitary activity; unlike orators, writers are necessarily separated from their audiences.

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