In search of the invisible (audiences)

Anne Kaun, Jannie Møller Hartley, Jānis Juzefovičs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents an overview over research that considers invisible audiences. Fundamentally we understand media audiences as ‘people who receive, co-create, interpret, understand and appropriate media messages’ (Reifová and Pavlíčková, 2013:130). Within this realm, we identify and define invisible audiences in a twofold way. Firstly we consider research on audience groups that have been marginalized by both mainstream media and mainstream audience studies such as post-socialist audiences, working class audiences and very young audiences. Secondly we consider audience groups that are literally invisible including practices of lurking in social media environments as well as unintended audiences. The literature review of research of the past ten years on invisible audiences identifies important gaps for both forms of invisible audiences. In conclusion, we suggest more extensive research on the diverse groups of invisible audiences on a more structural level, i.e. questions of certain social, political as well as cultural groups are rendered invisible. Furthermore we suggest that studies consider practices of invisible audiences on the micro, experiential level from the perspective of members of invisible audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-348
JournalParticipations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • audience studies
  • (in)visibility
  • post-communist audiences
  • (very) young audiences
  • online lurking
  • unintended audiences

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 1.4. Reviewed scientific article published in Latvia or abroad in a scientific journal with an editorial board (including university editions)


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