We are the People: Audience Engagement as Catalyst for Newsroom Unionization?

Abstract: This study explores the tension between management, journalists and their audience around audience engagement with a focus on the role of newsroom unionization. Ethnographic work in three U.S. newsrooms and interviews with 130 journalists, newsroom managers and editors in four newsrooms, shows that audience engagement work encourages unionization and that journalists in already unionized newsrooms regard the relationships with their audience as more collaborative than combative.