chapter  6
8 Pages

Television News Audiences

Perhaps no television genre is of broader interest than the news. It commands the attention of social scientists and critics of popular culture who believe it exerts a powerful influence on society. It has long been a concern of policymakers intent on promoting the public interest. It is an important determinant of a network's prestige, as well as a significant source of revenues. On the local level, many of these concerns are magnified. The local news helps to galvanize social action and promote a sense of community. It defines a station's image in the market and serves as a profit center that need not be shared with other networks or syndicators. In all of these matters, the size of the news audience is of critical importance.