The recent vacation allowed me to watch my favorite soap operas. Between vacations I keep up with the shows through a soap magazine. The magazine contains story recaps, casting news, star profiles, and fan comments. Indeed it serves an audience of fans.
On the other hand an article such as “Studying Soap Operas” (Soukup, 2016) serves an audience of scholars. It does not do the same things that the magazine pieces do, not is it meant to.
The two source types are not mutually exclusive, though. Soukup (2016) even mentions how fans “constitute a particularly powerful and vocal subset of the audiences of soap operas” (p. 15). If the fans weren’t vocal, the scholars would have less material to study.
Of course a scholar can be a fan as well. Still, the magazine pieces would serve one purpose for the reader as scholar, and another for the reader as fan. The Information Creation as a Process frame (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015) addresses such dynamics.
Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education.
Retrieved from ACRL website : http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
Soukup, P. A. (2016). Studying Soap Operas. Communication Research Trends, 35(3), 3-55.