address. The way in which a text, image, narration, or film involves or engages a reader or audience.
addresser/addressee. The participants in the standard model of communication between whom a message is passed. Sometimes, particularly in earlier representations of this model, addresser and addressee are understood as equivalent to 'sender' and 'receiver'. However, it is important to maintain a distinction between an actual sender of a message, and the position or role of, the addresser, as well as between an actual receiver and addressee. Thus, as is commonly recognized, a novelist as private citizen cannot be identified with the narrator of a novel; or even, straightforwardly, with the name on the cover of his/her book, since this bestows the public persona of 'author' (involved in contracts, copyrights, and so on) who is distinct from that person as a privatd individual or in some other occupation (teacher, MP, actor). Also relevant here is the distinction first made in American literary criticism of the 1960s between the author, existing 'outside' the text, and the 'implied author' whose presence can be detected in the voice or presence working over and above the words of the narrator and characters 'in' the text. Furthermore, different individuals can occupy the same named role or office of addresser (as 'headteacher', 'broadcaster', 'prime minister', or in the common use of 'spokespeople').
A comparable distinction is necessary at the other end of the process of communication since the addressee, the person for whom the message is intended (an 'implied' or 'ideal reader', consumer or voter) may be quite different from the person who actually receives, decodes or interprets it. The actual recipient will be involved in a process of negotiation with the intended meaning of the message and the position of its ideal recipient or addressee. A further difference is that although senders may be a group or organization, there are often many, sometimes thousands or millions of actual receivers. This is clearest of all in mass communications and has led to attempts to theorise and empirically assess the range of responses and positions which actual viewers or listeners in an audience might occupy. This does not rule out the usefulness of the concept of the addressee, however; since it is an indication of the ideological assumptions of programme makers about their audience and how this is inscribed in media texts. Actual audience members may also of course coincide with the constructed position of the addressee wholly or in part, whether on a given occasion or over a period of time. [from: Brooker, 1999]