Sources of information are created for different audiences, and that affects both their content and layout. Based on their intended audience, sources can be categorized into three main groups:
are written by scholars who are experts in a particular field of study and serve to keep other scholars in that field up to date on the most recent research findings and ideas.
The intended audience affects all aspects of a source, such as the difficulty of information shared, the overall appearance, the presence and the nature of advertisements, and more.
Let's take a look at three examples. Click on an image to see the webpage.
|Advertising||Many ads -- typically for retail products, and sponsored content||Ads -- often related to the profession or industry||No (or very little) advertising|
|Appearance||Slick design, glossy paper (print versions), with color pictures, photos, and illustrations||Slick design, glossy paper (print versions), with color pictures, photos, and illustrations||Plain, serious appearance; may include charts, graphs, or tables|
|Authors||Journalists, (freelance) writers, or an editorial staff. Articles are sometimes unsigned.||Professionals (incl. journalists) with experience in a particular field, trade, or industry. Articles are sometimes unsigned.||Scholars (academics, researchers) who are experts in a certain field, typically working at a university|
|Audience||A large, general public||Specialists in a certain profession, trade, or industry (professionals)||Scholars and students of a certain academic field|
|Language||Language that is easy to understand||Specialist language but less complicated than scholarly language||Specialized, formal terminology from a certain academic field|
|Purpose||Inform or entertain the reader, sell products, and/or promote a viewpoint||Provide practical information for professionals (news, trends, products etc.), promote education and skills within the profession or industry||Inform and report on research done by scholars|