And Deliver Us to Segmentation: The growing appeal of the niche news audience

Jacob L. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Non-profit news publishers, a small but growing piece of the news media environment, often explicitly attempt to build strong ties with their audiences. Many assume this approach differs from that of legacy newsrooms, which have historically kept the audience at arm’s length. In this article, I argue that this distinction has blurred. In-depth interviews with reporters and editors at a daily newspaper (The Chicago Tribune) and a local news non-profit (City Bureau) reveal that: (1) both organizations are pursuing a more collaborative relationship with their audiences; and (2) this pursuit is ill-suited for the traditional mass audience approach to news production. I conclude that journalists aspiring to work more closely with the audience find greater success when that audience is narrow to begin with.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-219
Number of pages16
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 7 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • audience segmentation
  • local news
  • news audience
  • news production
  • non-profit journalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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