ERIC Number: ED339045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Audience Models in Communications Policy.
Webster, James G.
This paper explores three audience models which have traditionally animated American communications policy: the Effects Model, in which the audience is victim; the Marketplace Model, in which the audience is consumer; and the Commodity Model, in which the audience is a coin of exchange. In separate sections, the models are defined, their varying elements are listed, and quotations from speeches, judicial opinions, and rulemaking procedures demonstrate their applications or manifestations. The paper also warns that while it is possible to distill these three distinct models of the audience from the work of policy makers, most players in the process will adopt whatever model suits their purpose. The paper then goes on to outline how each of these models might evolve in a new media environment without structural limitations, noting that what specifically needs to be considered is what becomes of these models when: (1) all who wish to electronically communicate to a mass audience are free to do so; and (2) people can pay directly for the media they consume. Finally, the paper suggests developing an Exposure Model of the audience which would embrace the effects, marketplace, and commodity models, and create a more unified system of audience analysis to inform public policy. (Thirty-one references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Government Relationship; Public Interest
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991).