Towards the “Audiencization” of Mediatization Research? Audience Dynamics as Co-Constitutive of Mediatization Processes

Part of the Transforming Communications – Studies in Cross-Media Research book series (TCSCMR)


Looking over the landscape of recent debates about mediatization, this chapter opens up a discussion of the theoretical and methodological challenges arising from the need to systematically explore audience dynamics as an integral part of mediatization processes. The chapter directs its argument towards institutionalist mediatization theory as well as constructivist mediatization theory. The theoretical argument is supported by empirical examples taken from the areas of audiences’ news platform selection and repertoire-building; online audience mobilization; and media and audience discourses about politics. It is finally suggested that Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding model can be used as a heuristic framework for conceptualizing the ‘audiencization’ of mediatization processes.


Mediatization Research newsNews Media audienceAudience Hjarvard repertoireRepertoire 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful for the suggestions of the anonymous reviewer of this text and for my discussions with colleagues in the research group “Audience and mediated life” at Roskilde University: Jannie Møller Hartley, Fabian Holt, Anne Mølle Lindelof, David Mathieu, Susana Tosca and Norbert Wildermuth. Also, thanks to Knut Lundby for encouragement along the way.


  1. Brants, Kees. 2014. Beyond media logic. Keynote address for the ECREA conference, Lisbon, 12–15 November 2014.Google Scholar
  2. Carpentier, Nico. 2011. New configurations of the audience? The challenges of user-generated content for audience theory and media participation. In The handbook of media audiences, ed. Virginia Nightingale, 190–212. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Couldry. 2014. Mediatization: What is it? In Media practice and everyday agency in Europe, ed. Leif Kramp, Nico Carpentier, Andreas Hepp, Ilija Tomanić Trivundža, Hannu Nieminen, Risto Kunelius, Tobias Olsson, Ebba Sundin, and Richard Kilborn, 33–39. Bremen: Edition Lumière.Google Scholar
  4. Couldry, Nick, and Andreas Hepp. 2013. Conceptualizing mediatization: Contexts, traditions, arguments. Communication Theory 23: 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Couldry, Nick, Sonia Livingstone, and Tim Markham. 2007. Media consumption and public engagement: Beyond the presumption of attention. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Deacon, David, and James Stanyer. 2014. Mediatization: Key concept of conceptual bandwagon? Media, Culture and Society 36 (7): 1032–1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ekström, Mats, Johan Fornäs, André Jansson, and Anne Jerslev. 2016. Three tasks for mediatization research: Contributions to an open agenda. Media, Culture and Society 38 (7): 1090–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Encheva, Kameliy, Olivier Driessens, and Hans Verstraeten. 2013. The mediatization of deviant subcultures: An analysis of the media-related practices of graffiti writers and skaters. Mediekultur 54: 8–25.Google Scholar
  9. Esser, Frank. 1999. “Tabloidization” of news. A comparative analysis of Anglo-American and German press journalism. European Journal of Communication 14 (3): 291–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fiske, John, and John Hartley. 1978. Reading television. London: Methuen.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gamson, William. 1992. Talking politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Haddon, Leslie. 2016. The domestication of complex media repertoires. In The media and the mundane: Communication across media in everyday life, ed. Kjetil Sandvik, Anne Mette Thorhauge, and Bjarki Valtysson, 17–30. Göteborg: Nordicom.Google Scholar
  13. Hall, Stuart. 1973. Encoding and decoding in the television discourse. Stencilled occasional paper, Media Series No. 7, Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham. Abridged version. In Culture, media, language, eds. Stuart Hall, Dorothy Hobson, Andrew Lowe, and Paul Willis (1980), 128–138. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  14. Hartmann, Maren. 2009. Everyday: Domestication of mediatization or mediatized domestication? In Mediatization: Concept, changes, consequences, ed. Knut Lundby, 225–242. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  15. Hasebrink, Uwe, and Andreas Hepp. 2016. How to research cross-media practices? Investigating media repertoires and media ensembles. Working Paper no. 15, Communicative Figurations series, University of Bremen. Accessed 22 Apr 2017.
  16. Hepp, Andreas. 2013. Cultures of mediatization. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  17. Hepp, Andreas. 2014. Communicative figurations. In Media practice and everyday agency in Europe, eds. Leif Kramp, Nico Carpentier, Andreas Hepp, Ilija Tomanić Trivundža, Hannu Nieminen, Risto Kunelius, Tobias Olsson, Ebba Sundin, and Richard Kilborn, 83–99. Bremen: Edition Lumière.Google Scholar
  18. Hepp, Andreas, Stig Hjarvard, and Knut Lundby. 2015. Mediatization: Theorizing the interplay between media, culture and society. Media, Culture and Society 37 (2): 314–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hjarvard, Stig. 2013. The mediatization of culture and society. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Hjarvard, Stig. 2016a. Mediatization. In The international encyclopedia of media effects, eds. Patrick Rössler, Cynthia A. Hoffner, and Liesbet van Zoonen, 1–20. Malden MA: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Hjarvard, Stig. 2016b. Medialisering: Teori og historie. In Medialisering. Mediernes rolle i social og kulturel forandring, ed. Stig Hjarvard, 17–38. København: Hans Reitzel.Google Scholar
  22. Hutchby, Ian. 2001. Conversation and technology: From the telephone to the internet. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  23. Kobbernagel, Christian, and Kim C. Schrøder. 2016. From everyday communicative figurations to rigorous audience news repertoires: A mixed method approach to cross-media news consumption. Mediekultur 32(60): 6–31.Google Scholar
  24. Krotz, Friedrich. 2014. From a social worlds perspective to the analysis of mediatized worlds. In Media practice and everyday agency in Europe, ed. Leif Kramp, Nico Carpentier, Andreas Hepp, Ilija Tomanić Trivundža, Hannu Nieminen, Risto Kunelius, Tobias Olsson, Ebba Sundin, and Richard Kilborn, 69–82. Bremen: Edition Lumière.Google Scholar
  25. Langer, John. 2003. Tabloid television and news culture. In Ness public relations and power, ed. Simon Cottle, 135–152. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Livingstone, Sonia. 2005. On the relation between audiences and publics. In Audiences and publics: When cultural engagement matters for the public sphere, ed. Sonia Livingstone, 17–41. Bristol UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  27. Livingstone, Sonia. 2013. The participation paradigm in audience research. The Communication Review 16: 21–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Livingstone, Sonia, and Peter Lunt. 2014. Mediatization: An emerging paradigm for media and communication research? In Mediatization of communication, ed. Knut Lundby, 703–723. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter/Mouton.Google Scholar
  29. Lundby, Knut. 2014a. Engaging with conflicts in mediatized religious environments. Paper for the Norwegian Association for Media Research, Trondheim 23–24 October 2014.Google Scholar
  30. Lundby, Knut. 2014b. Mediatization of communication. In Mediatization of communication, ed. Knut Lundby, 3–35. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter/Mouton.Google Scholar
  31. Lundby, Knut. 2016. Where are audiences in mediatization research? Paper for the Mediatization section of the 6th ECREA conference, Prague 9–12 November 2016.Google Scholar
  32. Madianou, Mirca. 2014. Polymedia: Communication and mediatized migration: An ethnographic approach. In Mediatization of communication, ed. Knut Lundby, 323–346. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter/Mouton.Google Scholar
  33. Moe, Hallvard, and Hilde Van Den Bulck. 2016. Teletext in Europe. From the analog to the digital era. Gothenburg: Nordicom.Google Scholar
  34. Pfeffer, Jürgen, Thomas Zorbach, and Kathleen M. Carley. 2014. Understanding online firestorms: Negative word-of-mouth dynamics in social media networks. Journal of Marketing Communications 20 (1–2): 117–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Picard, R. 2014. Twilight or new dawn of journalism? Evidence from the changing news ecosystem. Journalism Studies 15 (5): 500–510. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2014.895530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Potter, Jonathan, and Margaret Wetherell. 1996. Discourse analysis. In Rethinking methods in psychology, ed. Jonothan A. Smith, Rom Harré, and Luk Van Langenhove, 80–92. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Reuters Digital News Report. Published annually. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford. Accessed 22 Apr 2017.
  38. Rosen, Jay. 2006. The people formerly known as the audience, PressThink.
  39. Schrøder. Kim C., and Ib T. Gulbrandsen. In press. Audience. In The international encyclopedia of strategic communication, ed. Robert L. Heath, and Winni Johansen. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. Schrøder, Kim C. 2016. Q method and news audience research. In The SAGE handbook of digital journalism, ed. Tamara Witschge, Chris W. Anderson, David Domingo, and Alfred Hermida, 528–545. Los Angeles: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schrøder, Kim C., and Bent Steeg Larsen. 2010. The shifting cross-media news landscape. Journalism Studies 11 (4): 524–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schrøder, Kim C., and Louise Phillips. 2007. Complexifying media power: A study of the interplay between media and audience discourses on politics. Media, Culture and Society 29 (6): 890–915.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shaw, Adrienne. 2017. Encoding and decoding affordances: Stuart Hall and interactive media technologies. Media, Culture and Society 39 (4): 592–602. doi: 10.1177/0163443717692741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Thorlacius, Lisbeth. 2016. Visuel remediering af de danske netaviser. In Den fælles dagsorden—Og alle de andre, ed. Mark Blach-Ørsten, and Ida Willig, 105–130. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.Google Scholar
  45. Warner, Michael. 2002. Publics and counterpublics. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  46. Webster, F. 2014. The marketplace of attention: How audiences take shape in a digital age. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  47. Witschge, Tamara. 2014. Passive accomplice or active disruptor: The role of audiences in the mediatization of politics. Journalism Practice 8 (3): 342–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Roskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

Personalised recommendations