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.