The torrents of audience feedback which are reshaping the media

From Andrew Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System pg 220:

A central theme in Marsh’s discussion of the rise of online media is how growing torrents of audience feedback have come to shape the style and ethos of the BBC’s approach to political coverage. The rise to ubiquity of e-mail during the 1990s meant that by the time Marsh became editor of Today in 2002 he was receiving around “50,000 emails a year” from listeners who “wanted to push back about stories.” This was before the explosion of user comments on the BBC’s websites, before the launch of the iPlayer online video platform, and before BBC news’ increasing integration with social media during the late 2000s.

How do we theorise the scale of this as something more than the accumulation of contingent individual responses?