Whatever this is
I have never heard the word "audience" in my entire life
I try really hard to stay out of Journalism Twitter, because a good 100% of the time, it’s about something stupid. But when I saw this tweet, oooo I just knew it was gonna set off a shitstorm.
Maybe this tweet cut deep because I, a person who works in audience, am acutely aware of how employees in both my and other newsrooms look down upon, or straight up ignore audience editors.
But I’m not here to talk about what audience is or why it’s important (for anyone who wants to know, this is a good, informative thread). I’m actually here because this tweet reminded me of something I wrote last year, “The bizarre flex of being out of touch.”
For anyone — but especially journalists, whose job it is to learn and know and research things — to get on twitter dot com in our lord and savior’s year of 2022 and proudly proclaim they know nothing about something they probably should know about, is such a bizarre choice.
What is the goal here? To find others who agree, who simultaneously don’t understand anything about audience? For moral posturing, to indicate, “Why would I need to know anything about this department I look down upon so much?”? To just rant (and yeah I know, Twitter is like the place to rant)?
The Washington Post is one of the biggest newspapers in the country — they have to be doing something right when it comes to hiring/building their AUDIENCES. I just cannot fathom any sort of positive outcome from this tweet.
Willful ignorance is boring and lazy. And broadcasting your ignorance online, while also indicating you have no interest in changing your ignorance, as a way to be funny or relatable or candid doesn’t really fly.
Another thing I’ll note though, is that this ignorance has a distinctly different flair than that of the previous post I mentioned.
I will loosely categorize this as boomer vs. millenial ignorance. With the former, you have older folks who see change, and don’t like it. They’ll argue that they are correct, and the young people are the ones out of touch. It has an air of arrogance, moreso than elderly wisdom. With the latter, you have younger folks, maybe going through a sort of identity crisis as they realize they’re losing touch with pop culture. And so they use their ignorance as a joke, as to say, “Isn’t it funny, relatable even that I just can’t keep up with young people?” Maybe less rude than the boomer ignorance, but still has the air of someone waving their arms around yelling, “HELLO?? Will someone please validate me?” Idk, these are half-baked thoughts, hopefully you get what I mean.
Also, a mini side rant:
Correcting people’s spelling/grammar on tweets that are clearly not meant to be taken seriously is so embarrassing. Your correction tweet probably took more time and effort to craft than the initial joke tweet. I thought we agreed in 2012 that twitter is free from the constraints of the English language.