By Any Media Necessary: Mapping Youth and Participatory Politics

Audiences vs. publics

Audiences are produced by acts of measurement, by the number of eyeballs attracted or in terms of the amount of money raised. Publics, on the other hand, actively direct attention onto messages they value: “a public not only offers attention, it calls for attention.” Publics, Sonia Livingstone (2006) tells us, are “held to be collectivities, more than the sum of their parts, while audiences by contrast are merely aggregates of individuals.” (Dayan/Livingstone)

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