Definition Edit

Audience: a group of people who are meant to receive a message.

Keywords: Blog, Language, Social Media

According to, audience is the group of spectators at a public event. They represent the listeners or viewers collectively, as in attendance at a theater or concert. Another more broad definition for audience is "the persons reached by a book, radio or television broadcast, etc." In this sense, an audience can be simplified to a anyone you are trying to communicate with publicly or privately.

Empirical audiences: face with a speaker and directly interact with them. One example of a speaker with an empirical audience is a high school professor presenting a powerpoint on medieval art, and being stopped and asked a question by a student.

Mediated audiences: witness the message as it is being delivered but are beyond the immediate proximity of the speaker. A news broadcast on television is an example of a mediated audience. The transmission only goes one way, but the audience still gets the message loud and clear.

Targeted audiences: a specific group of people to deliver the aimed message. [1] For example, this wiki aims at a targeted audience--we are writing and editing it for other WAM students to read and edit, for our professors/grad students to grade, and perhaps for people with questions about these elements of media searching for answers online.

Four Types of Audiences that one may have to Persuade Edit

Because audiences are a collection of individuals, each audience has different characteristics. [2]

Hostile Audiences: Edit

They generally tend to disagree with and be adverse to the message being mediated or the person mediating the message. They may not even want to be there. They carefully construct their presentation, by forming either an agreement or disagreement. They establish basic principles before moving on to specific proposals. They like to challenge and they create tension. They use references and evidences that they think others cannot deny.

Critical Audiences: Edit

They believe that they are well educated on the issue or message being mediated, and that their argument is superior to the views of the mediator. They often back up their argument with strong references and logic and avoid exaggeration. They like rational arguments, revealing premises and avoiding fallacies. Critical audiences often look at the pros and cons of multiple arguments or issues.

Uninformed Audiences: Edit

They do not have all the facts before they decide their argument. They question and gather facts. Their interest is to understand an issue before they form an opinion on it. They use rational arguments to explain the logic.

Sympathetic Audiences: Edit

They have an emotional attachment. They form a emotional connection with the mediator or the message being presented. They make personal appeals, asking for their help.A mediator should attempt to trigger the positive emotions in a sympathetic audience, to make them more interested in the message being mediated.

History Edit

Theatre used to be a "ritual, with tribal dances and festivals celebrating the harvest, marriages, gods, war and basically any other event that warranted a party." Without a robust transportation system, audiences were limited to people in the villages where these events took place. Then, the first recorded plays were held in Greece. The theatre was free, and the seat was determined by one's station in life. For instance, rich people would take cushioned seats in front while peasants or women had to sit in the back. The Romans had the new idea of spectators and developed the idea of gladiators. In Rome, the stage was also free, and the seat was also determined by the social class.

Examples and Further Readings Edit

1. [[1]] - Hyperlink to an original Wikipedia article about audience. It informs the reader about the different types of audience and what one can expect from the audience.

2. - Article that describes how to connect with your audience in writing, it also provides multiple examples and a short quiz about audience.

3. - This scholarly article by the University's writing center at the University of North Carolina's website provides detailed questions and information on why audience matters and how one should adjust their writing based on their audience.

4. - Another academic website also provides reasoning on why audience matters in writing but also provides a tip on how to sustain a specific audience.

5. - This site provides a detailed analysis on audience. It starts with what an analysis on audience can do and the three different ways to analyze the audience.

Reference: Edit

Klumpp, James F. "Analyzing Audience." Retrieved from

Straker, David. "Four Audiences." Retrieved from

"A Brief History of the Audience." (1986). Shakespearetheatre. 1-9.

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