Welcome to the website of CEDAR - Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research. CEDAR is a  foresight-focused international consortium on 21st century media audience practices


Overview of CEDAR

Bringing together academics from 13 European countries and stakeholders from the European Broadcasting Union (EU level) and Creative Skillset (UK level), a new, international consortium CEDAR (Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research) proposes to enhance knowledge in communication studies and related fields in the
humanities and social sciences. It will (1) map key emerging trends in the practices of media audiences in a networked and globalised world and (2) use established tools of foresight analysis to draw out a cross-disciplinary research agenda for the study of audiences in 2030. CEDAR will be the first attempted foresight-analysis exercise on audiences and also the first research consortium in the field comprising early-career academics. CEDAR will build knowledge and also capacities of an entire generation of academics, while facilitating the exchange of knowledge across disciplinary, conceptual and inter-sector boundaries.

The critical problem

Media audiences are not solely a domain of interest for media researchers, for audiences are also families and individuals, communities and groups, publics, citizens, consumers, etc. The activities of audiences inside and outside the home have interested sociologists (e.g. families as viewers), cultural theorists (e.g. television responses amongst ethnic groups), political scientists (e.g. audiences as protestors, opinion providers, voters), educators (e.g. media literacies), the government and the media itself. Findings about audiences (existing in a dedicated sub-field of media studies) have clear implications across sectors and disciplines, but many of these have not been drawn out to their fullest and communicated clearly outside the field. Despite decades of empirical evidence, many assumptions are made about the attitudes, tastes and preferences of audiences in all their different capacities, and as audiences are changing rapidly in a multimedia world, concerns about the (often perceived) vulnerability of audiences abound in the media. Stakeholders in policy and industry have little idea of the findings from 6 decades of critical academic research. Equally, the consolidation of current findings and trends in the field is a task yet to be undertaken as the academicwheel seems to be reinvented too often.

Research Questions and Agenda

The network will answer two questions: First, what are the key emerging themes in the experiences and practices of audiences in a networked and global world? To answer this, the network will devote half of its workshops to conduct an analytical theme-mapping of 4 research clusters covering the field of audience research. This exercise goes beyond the consolidation of existing research for it will ignite the task of foresight-analysis to ask - what is a future agenda for the field 15 years from today? To respond, we will conduct a foresight analysis exercise using the outcomes of theme-mapping and established tools such as expert panels and scenario building.

Consortium structure

The consortium comprises (a) a knowledge-producing core of early career academics from 14 European countries (b) a mentoring periphery of 13 senior academics (c) two partner organisations - The European Broadcasting Unit (EU partner) and Creative Skillset (UK partner) and (d) two coordinators, Dr Das of the University of Leicester (principal investigator) and Dr Ytre-Arne of the University of Bergen in Norway (co-investigator).
Subpages (1): Announcements