All viewers (or readers or listeners) are equal

Date of publication: June 15, 1990

Abstract:

The history of media research displays not only continuing refinement of the methods of audience enumeration and classification, but also a questioning of the adequacy of 'mere numbers and repeated demands for more qualitative data. This paper examines what we mean by quality of impact; discusses what factors might be relevant; and examines such evidence as there is for their relative importance. It is concluded that, were fuller data on such variables available, either they might not be widely used or they might have limited effects on media selection, in practice. Whilst further, methodological research is favoured, the devotion of any large proportion of media audience research funds to measuring 'quality of impact factors is consequently questioned.

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