pat walters

freelance journalist in memphis

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I’m late in reading this seminal Jay Rosen essay:

The people formerly known as the audience wish to inform media people of our existence, and of a shift in power that goes with the platform shift you’ve all heard about.

Think of passengers on your ship who got a boat of their own. The writing readers. The viewers who picked up a camera. The formerly atomized listeners who with modest effort can connect with each other and gain the means to speak— to the world, as it were.

Now we understand that met with ringing statements like these many media people want to cry out in the name of reason herself: If all would speak who shall be left to listen? Can you at least tell us that?

Rosen doesn’t argue that the mass audience is gone, or even that it is no longer being attracted by mass media. Big audiences will always exist. His point, I think, is that for every big audience, there will be thousands of little ones, lots of which will be better defined as communities than as audiences.

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Written by patwalters

August 26, 2007 at 8:24 pm

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