Theory of the Interlocking Public

The Theory of the Interlocking Public is a theory revolving around an audience’s interest in subjects presented to them specifically in newspapers. We assume that an audience is made up of 2 kinds of people. People who are simply ignorant to the subjects and are therefore completely uninterested, and people who are interested and fully invested in every subject. This is a gross oversimplification of the truth. How many people do you know in real life that will read a newspaper front to back? In actuality, people have varied levels of interest in everything, including the subjects written about in a newspaper. They are therefore more likely to read articles that play to those interests. The Theory of the Interlocking Public forms a more true to life illustration of how people read and connect with news by grouping an audience into three categories, the Involved, the Interested and the Uninterested.

 This theory is valuable to journalists in all situations as it can be applied easily to every demographic and audience. Take York House for example. We pride ourselves in the diversity of our student body and the wide variety of interests and backgrounds at the school. In everything Journalism 11 will do we can expect to have all three levels of the interlocking public. If I wrote an article pertaining to the athletics department at York House, it is easy to see who the involved, interested, and uninterested would be. Those who are involved usually have a stake in the issue, so in this situation the involved would be those who are active in the athletics department, the teachers and sports players. Those who are interested, might have a stake in the issue but some simply care about or are interested in the outcome or story. With the athletics article, the interested might be the rest of the student body and teachers. The uninterested are normally people who would be unaffected by the story, and have no interest in the subject. In this situation those people would be people who are not involved in the school at all, such as students at LFA or Saints.

If I were to write an article about the Charter of Quebec Values and the controversy surrounding the law banning certain religious symbols, we would also have those who are involved, interested and uninterested. The involved in this situation it might those who wear large religious symbols, such as a muslim woman living in Quebec. The interested would be people who think that the law is unfair, and who would like to see the law be dropped. This might be a religious person in Toronto. The uninterested would be those who don’t think the law is a big deal and don’t have much to lose or gain by it being dropped or kept, such as an atheist living in America. You can clearly see that not everyone will be interested in one subject, but everyone is interested in something. This is dependent upon their lifestyle, upbringing, job and location on the globe. No matter what form or level of journalism you may participate in, the Theory of the Interlocking Public puts forth a logical and useful way to view your audience. 

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