The ongoing transformations in modern society require rethinking from the angle of different theoretical and methodological approaches. The development of society and the world community cannot be imagined without the influence of mass communication and information. It is impossible to imagine the institute of mass media in modern society without an audience. For the successful functioning of the media, it is necessary to study information interaction, social characteristics of the audience and its feedback. The main tool for solving these problems will make it possible to better systematize the existing knowledge about the theory of interaction between the media and the audience, to trace its features in the upcoming professional practice and work in the media. Today, the process of systematization in these concepts can hardly be said to be logically complete. In theoretical publications, the mass media are interpreted ambiguously as a source of distributing information to the public. However, we believe that the mass media can also transmit a function as a way to create an individual.
The media is the fourth power. The activities of journalism and all media, in general, are aimed at their audience. The perception of information takes place in different ways within all segments of the population. All types of media in every possible way thoroughly study their audience, find out what they are interested in, and who they need to be careful with. Thus, the portrait of the target audience allows one to develop the most effective strategy for the work of a particular media.
Accordingly, it is paramount for any media to build high-quality and successful interaction with its audience. Especially, if it is a movie magazine. The whole sphere of perception of cinema as art is a purely subjective concept, which means that the publication always needs to stay up to date in order not to lose its position on this or that issue. Therefore, regular interaction is necessary here.
The research used mainly historical and technological and comparative methods, as well as content analysis of the thematic model of the publication. At the same time, auxiliary sources of such authors as S.G. Korkonosenko, B.R. Mandel, S.S. Raspopova, L.N. Fedotova, I.D. Fomicheva and others were used.
Results and Discussion
The audience of the media is considered to be the segment of society to which the information of this media is oriented. Precisely, it is an addressee receiving information, and whose information needs the media seeks to satisfy.
The audience is a subject of the mass information process, a set of individuals who perceive the information addressed to them, are able to develop “new knowledge” in their environment and influence the information policy of the media.
As for journalistic terminology, E.P. Prokhorov believed that the audience is “a collection of people, those to whom the media addresses and who perceives the information addressed to them” .
Setting the limits of the audience is difficult. For this purpose, all kinds of psychological and sociological studies are conducted. These limits can be set according to various criteria: space (breakdown into countries, regions, cities); time (regular consumer or reader of each issue of the newspaper; regular consumer reading the newspaper at least once a month, for example; casual consumer; potential reader); choice of me-
Corresponding author email: firstname.lastname@example.org dia channel. Depending on the listed characteristics, portraits of the target audience are built (usually from 2 to 5), which determine the further strategy of the media.
To study the audience, socio-demographic information (age, gender, profession, place of residence); characteristic features of the audience as a mass consciousness (beliefs, views, goals, political education); behavior as a link in the chain of the information relations system (the most frequently used sources of information, preferences in media types, attitude to various topics and their coverage, information requests) are considered. Only after working through each of these points, one can roughly identify the needs and interests of the audience and build own information policy in accordance with them.
In addition, the needs and interests of the audience are different. It is impossible to say anything unambiguous about these phenomena. Needs and interests may overlap and even coincide, but there is a difference. It is generally believed that the interests of the audience are still something obvious, explicit, something that the consumer is guided by when searching for information. Needs are related to necessity and unambiguous utility. However, such utility may not always be realized, which is why needs are often suppressed and relegated to the background. In this regard, three types of media behavior in relation to the needs of the audience are set:
- Frontal. The media meets the needs, not based on the interests of the audience.
- Special. The media satisfy the interests, but at the same time forget about the needs of the audience.
- Realistic. The media successfully and creatively combine attention to both interests and needs .
In general, the work of the media can be defined as aimed at the entire population of the country. For example, the small media of the state are focused on the population of the region. Thus, population (of a country or region) is the potential audience of the media.
There are at least two divisions of the media audience.
- Primary and secondary audience.
The primary audience is any person who has received information directly from the media. It does not matter what kind of media the consumer uses and how he receives information (press, TV, radio, Internet). The main thing here is to get the product directly from the originator.
The secondary audience is right behind the primary and waits for the information they have transformed. This segment, for one reason or another, cannot directly contact the media, and for them, the primary audience becomes the media. The information transferred no longer has a value as the original one. That is, they do not receive information themselves, but learn from friends/acquaintances who are the primary audience and contact directly with the media.
For a successful existence in the information market, as well as maintaining communication with the consumer, any editorial office should regularly conduct research on its audience to identify new interests and needs. Subsequently, we believe that the audience is the paramount link in the chain of information relations and the communication process. Knowledge of the characteristics, interests, and needs of the audience allows the media to develop and not lose its relevance, which is the main key to success in the conditions of the information market.
As in all spheres of society, the world of mass media also has its own systems of relations and the roles inherent in these relations. The target audience is part of this system, one of such roles. However, there is no clearly regulated list of roles. By 2018, the audience had modified itself so much that it moved from the state of “consumer” to a more advanced “consumer-producer”. Fortunately, taking into account all the technologies and the speed of our life, we can say that exclusive consumers are an endangered type of audience. Now the media and audience are equal. By posting some signed photo, a person makes content-based that any media can make their content. This chain is no longer like a segment that has a beginning and an end. Now it is a vicious circle where information circulates an infinite number of times, acquiring new details and upgrading.
As for traditional models of relationships, it is worth noting that most often the roles in these relationships depend directly on the functions of the subject in the system. For example, publisher, journalist, audience. The concept of “audience” is assigned to the subject in the framework of this system, primarily by the consumption of information and thereby is the object of informational influence. In the mass media system, there are institutions that are assigned the functions of collecting, processing and distributing information, on the one hand, and the masses for whom this information is intended, on the other. This is how functional relationships develop between participants: publisher, journalist, audience.
Mass media and communications, as well as simple communication, cannot work without regular feedback from their audience. The phenomenon of qualitative feedback is a direct impact on the consumer, building trusting relationships and correcting the impact by considering the reaction. Without feedback, media representatives will have to focus on a non-existent, invented image, i.e. on a “likely consumer”. This gives rise to a subjective approach to the idea of the consumer, which is fundamentally wrong and will lead to negative results and consequences. At the same time, the calculation is made for repetitive, typical characteristics, because the addressee, in this case, is massive. Most often, it is necessary to rely even only on existing sociological studies and surveys, thus drawing a portrait of the audience.
A journalist is an organizer of communicative relations, a mediator and an interpreter in social dialogue. Moscow sociologists who studied the creative process in the media drew attention to the fact that “the main difficulties for journalists have always been mass organizational work, that is, not creativity itself, but work with authors, letters to the editor, organization of roundtable discussion, etc.” . That is the main problem of any media. Delving into the information support of the population, publications forget that their audience is real people, which means that they have their own opinion. This amounts to ignoring certain interests of the audience. With proper, full-fledged interaction with the audience, the media will at least be able to raise its coverage, and at most — increase the number of its real audience due to increased audience interest and media demand.
There is an active and passive interaction between the media and the audience. For example, if the media regularly conducts surveys among its readers, various actions, etc., then it is an active interaction. If the relationship is limited to writing and reading information, then such interactions are passive.
In addition, we should remember that the effectiveness and efficiency of the work of the media directly depend on the influence of the target or mass audience. For example, when establishing contact with the audience and regularly communicating with it, the media implements a communicative function. By calling for something specific with its materials, the media achieves the realization of the organizational function. The ideological function considers the influence of a journalist on the worldview of the audience; cultureforming, advertising, reference and recreational functions also affect the mass audience.
Consequently, the success of the media functions depends on the quality of interaction between the media and the audience. However, the media depends on the audience as much as possible, since meeting the needs of the audience is a task of paramount importance. When the public’s interest changes, the course of the media also changes.
Information is the main and only tool of any media for the realization of a social mission. If other tools can be used as part of the entertainment direction, then all this will not help here. The assessment is made precisely within the framework of informativeness. Accordingly, information is an intermediary between the media and its audience, which means that the main mission of the media is realized in this way.
Considering the fact that the information is evaluated by the audience, any media sets the task of producing high-quality content. Accordingly, journalists will create materials focusing on the interests of the audience, people’s education, their culture, emotional perception, mentality, etc.
The cooperation of the audience and the media is of great value. It can take place in the form of feedback, dialogue, as well as co-authorship. In addition, from the practice of the past there were “roundtable discussions”, “open days” in the editorial office. Such events allow one to get to know the reader personally, get to know him and establish a stronger connection.
At the moment, feedback and participation in the life of the media is the main type of interaction between the media and the audience. If earlier it was limited to letters to the editor, now that the Internet is a familiar technology, the feedback goes beyond its traditional boundaries. Actually, with the development of the Internet, every self-respecting media has not only an official website, but also accounts on social networks. This brings media closer to its audience, and makes the feedback process as simplified as possible. Now it is enough for an Internet user to comment on a particular media entry to express his opinion or write a personal message so that the opinion is not public. Thus, the media with the help of regular updates of their pages on the social network can find out the real reaction of their audience about a specific topic /category/article, etc. Many media use the Internet as an opportunity for feedback from the audience, one way or another, making it a participant in the process of collecting and creating information.
On the part of the editorial offices, therefore, it is necessary to distinguish three areas of activity in the information market: attracting (retaining) the audience, attracting (retaining) advertisers, forecasting and neutralizing the activities of competitors.
Mass media are an indicator of successful cultural development, they create the ideology of the target audience as a cultural community and express the public opinion of its members. From this, it is clear how great the influence and impact of the media on the audience is. The main tool of influence is manipulation. A lot has already been said about the manipulation of the media, so it makes no sense to analyze this issue in detail. For example, by appealing to various “heart strings” of the audience (for example, the feeling of love for the motherland), the media are able to mobilize the support of significant segments of the population for certain actions of the ruling circles or individual interest groups.
In addition, owing to the media, a modern person develops immunity to negative information. He gets used to it and does not perceive it as something out of the ordinary. Now murders and terrorist attacks are normal, this is the daily norm.
Magazines and newspapers usually use the following manipulative techniques:
- selection of photos;
- caustic comments on expressions and photos;
- quotes taken out of context, correctly and conveniently commented;
- playing with color and size, quoting within the title;
- a title that has nothing to do with the article;
- accounting for the placement of material on the broadside .
M.M. akhtin rightly noted, “in the field of humanitarian knowledge, intellectual operations with someone else’s description of one or another fragment of social life are the main source for the formation of one’s own judgments about what is not given to the researcher as a fragment of his direct experience” .
It is much more interesting to consider the Internet as a way of communication and an integral part of the media. Because the Internet has managed to absorb all the functions and distinctive features of other types of media: text — from print, sound — from radio, picture — from TV. In addition, hypertextuality and interactivity have become the main features of online media. Accordingly, there are more opportunities on the Internet. One of the foundations of consumer segmentation in marketing research is buying behavior. So, consumers are usually classified by consumption activity, commitment (loyalty) to the brand, the degree of use of the product, consumption experience .
This means that there are more features in influence and interaction.
- Fabrication of facts;
- Use of rumors;
- Links to supposedly sensational news in the form of flashy and intriguing headlines;
- Posting compromising photos with relevant comments on various websites.
Thus, we see that modern mass media have all possible ways of managing public opinion and consciousness, which they successfully use. It is precisely the ability of journalists to manage people’s worldviews that has allowed journalism to be called the fourth power.
Nevertheless, social networks and the website remain the main platform for interaction between the media specifically with a real audience. Let us look at them in more detail.
It is easy to get lost on the site. Dividing into sections and the same headings in them can confuse and alienate, information will have to be searched for a long time if one does not use the “search” option. On the main page there are popular voluminous materials, as well as a news feed. There are no comments on the materials .
This very news feed is duplicated in all social networks. The main features of mass culture are the primitivization of the reflection of human relations, social maximalism, entertainment and sentimentality, the savoring of violence, sex, the protrusion of national and racial prejudices, the cult of success, consumerism, the imposition of conformism .
Facebook is the most popular platform. This resource is designed for middle-aged people related to business/entrepreneurship. There is a wealthy and adult (in the sense of awareness) audience. Next, Instagram, where it is difficult to determine the audience in general, is too universal network. VK and Twitter are designed for the young and teenage generation, so the audience there is smaller.
In all social networks, there is a duplication of content from the site’s news feed. Mass media have already explained many times how to approach a particular platform, how to adapt content to social networks, how to attract an audience with a special approach. Instagram is an image platform where only a small percentage of the audience actually reads the posts under the photo. Understanding that, the editorial staff publishes photos of stars from festivals and parties. VK allows text content but simplified as much as possible for the fastest perception. Twitter is a “one-sentence” platform at all. One cannot spread the same thing everywhere and think that the audience will be hooked. Now the user of social networks is much smarter and is well-versed in all these details. After seeing the same content twice, the reader will lose interest and unsubscribe, the coverage will drop.
To sum up, we discussed the essence of the journalistic process and figured out one of the most complex communication processes on which the interaction of a journalist and an audience is based.
Starting from the most basic concept of a mass audience, analyzing and comparing the opinions of various authors, we concluded that the audience is one of the most important structural elements of the communicative process, which involves continuous study to meet its interests. It is also significant that knowledge of the specific needs thereof is the key to the successful operation of the organization in the conditions of the modern market. According to English researchers J. Fiske and J. Hartley, mass media satisfy the need to understand the social world, the need to act intelligently and successfully, the need to escape into fantasy from daily problems and stress .
A considerable turn in the development of interaction between the media and the audience was the emergence of the Internet, after which feedback, and journalism in general, became much easier. As the Internet has evolved, so the consumer’s approach to the product has developed. If earlier it was limited to letters to the editor, now that the Internet is a familiar technology, the feedback goes beyond its traditional boundaries. With the development of the Internet, every self-respecting media has an official website and accounts on social networks. This brings media closer to its audience and makes the feedback process as simplified as possible. Now it is enough for an Internet user to comment on a particular media entry to express his opinion or write a personal message so that the opinion is not public. Thus, the media through regular updates of their pages on the social network can find out the real reaction of their audience about a specific topic /category/article, etc. Many media use the Internet as an opportunity for feedback from the audience, one way or another, making it a participant in the process of collecting and creating information.
The functions of a communicator include informing, teaching, propaganda, education, upbringing, as well as the functions of coordinating the subsystems of society to achieve common goals, the functions of organizing behavior, creating an emotional and psychological tone, and communicative (the function of communication between members of society), cultural, recreational, managerial functions .
Subsequently, the role of feedback is important: it is designed to help the media in the elaboration and correction of its strategy.
The mass media, as one of the parts of mass communication, is gradually adapting to new conditions, changing editorial standards and professional requirements, involving Internet users in interaction with themselves, changing the forms of presentation of the material.
The Internet as a new communication medium gives the media a unique opportunity to interact with the audience, but the interactive nature and availability of content creation tools take competition and marketing in the communication environment to a new level. The permissive and interactive nature of the Internet makes it possible to generate a huge amount of content not only for the media, but also for ordinary people, who, due to the lack of clear editorial standards and censorship, form an information agenda for themselves much more quickly.
So, it turns out that the study of various aspects of the preparation of journal publications becomes particularly relevant with the advent of electronic publications. The study of the electronic version of magazines about cinema and the identification of the specifics of their preparation, purpose, readership, structure, as well as genres of publications, seems relevant both theoretically and practically.
Thus, an effective system of domestic magazines about cinema has not developed. Further study is required on the specifics of the presentation and perception of information from such magazines, the interaction of electronic and traditional versions of the magazine, the specifics of reader groups.
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