Broadcast and Video Studies | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Mass Communication


This paper reviews the literature that has examined how media organizations make sense of their audiences, the analytical techniques and technologies employed, and how this information is embraced or resisted in the operation of media organizations. As this review illustrates, the historical trend in audience understanding has been one of a steady process of rationalization in how media organizations have approached their audiences. In documenting this process of the rationalization of audience understanding, this review identifies key historical moments in this process. This review identifies the external forces that have influenced this process; the underlying reasons for it; and critiques of its effects on the production, distribution, and exhibition of media content.