Gatekeeping Theory

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Hovland, Carl I.

Janis, and Harold H. Communication and persuasion. Hovland and colleagues were part of the first generation of communication and attitude change research. Their study examined the factors influencing persuasion, including characteristics of the message, the communicator, and the situation.

This study discussed how message reception is affected by outside influences and reveals how the choices of content creators—gatekeepers—can directly or indirectly sway audiences. Lasswell, Harold D. Propaganda technique in the World War. New York: Alfred A. Lasswell examined propaganda in World War I in order to identify the procedures involved in organizing and executing propaganda campaigns. His study set the stage for scholarly communication and gave insight into ideas that would later develop gatekeeping research.

The processes through which a propagandist operation was developed relied heavily on key decision makers and various strategic points in communication, foreshadowing what Lewin and White cited under A Gatekeeping Model for News would later call gatekeepers and gates. Lazarsfeld, Paul F. Personal influence: The part played by people in the flow of mass communications. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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In this work, Lazarsfeld and Katz explicated their two-step flow model of communication. The book focused on a study conducted by the Bureau of Applied Social Research in which eight hundred women in Decatur, Illinois, were interviewed and surveyed about who or what influenced their decision making. It was discovered that face-to-face communications could be more influential than media communications, with information traveling from media to opinion leaders to the public. Lewin, Kurt. Frontiers in group dynamics: Channels of group life; social planning and action research.

Human Relations 1—— See also pp. In this two-part article, Lewin introduced the key concepts of gatekeeping as they affected social change in post—World War II food choices. He presented two channels through which food could come to the table—the garden and the grocery. For either channel, the cook was gatekeeper and, within each channel were sections such as transporting food preceded by a gate, or decision point.

Lewin felt that this arrangement could also apply to the traveling of news items through communication channels. Reese, Stephen D. The roots of a sociology of news: Remembering Mr. Gates and social control in the newsroom. DOI: Schramm, Wilbur. Mass communications. Urbana: Univ. Today we see that these chains and their participants connect in an entirely new way—moving information from one to another, overlapping and integrating into a new journalism in which reporters and officials have many more sources of information than ever before.

Shoemaker, Pamela J.

Communication Studies theories: overview by category | University of Twente

Gatekeeping: Communication concepts 3. This book brought gatekeeping into the mainstream of social science research, considering influences on the process from individuals, routine practices of the news media, media organizations, social institutions, and social systems. Shoemaker developed a series of models to illustrate the many processes that affect gates and gatekeepers.

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Gatekeeping theory. New York: Routledge. This book is the most ambitious overview of gatekeeping to date. It applied the organizing principle of levels of analysis, but it also includes individual chapters on gatekeeping concepts. The authors also brought gatekeeping into the age of the Internet, a time when some scholars are suggesting that gatekeeping is no longer appropriate. Tuchman, Gaye. Making news. New York: Free Press. Gaye Tuchman observed the work of many journalists for years, including at a major city television station, at newspapers, and in a city hall newsroom.

She studied the processes and routines that were used by journalists to produce the news each day, and she noted that the categorization of news was necessary for journalists to manage their job. The assigning of a category, however, influenced how the event was covered. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page.

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Edited By Carol M. Liebler and Tim P. Vos

In making these decisions, gatekeepers exercise power over those on the other side of the gate. The intellectual origins of gatekeeping can be traced to Kurt Lewin, a Berlin-born social scientist who applied the methods of individual psychology to the whole social world. Lewin approached gatekeeping as just one of many interrelated phenomena that together make up a social field. To understand gatekeeping, one had to understand the whole field.

Lewin's student, David Manning White, was the first to apply the concept of gatekeeping to mass communication. White's analysis of the gatekeeping decisions of one newspaper editor, called Mr.

Disrupting gatekeeping practices: Journalists’ source selection in times of crisis

Gates, focused on the subjective factors that influence gatekeeping decisions. Following White , the field of communication has most often conceptualized gatekeeping as the selection of news, where a small number of news items pass a gate manned by journalists. In making their selections, gatekeepers construct social reality for the gated Shoemaker, The World Wide Web has presented new challenges to these traditional models of gatekeeping, where raw content passes uni-directionally through a gate manned by journalists before reaching the reading public.

The ability of users to create and disseminate their own content has uprooted and inverted the roles of gatekeeper and gated. However, if the mass of information on the Web necessitates some form of gatekeeping, what does it look like? Brown and, more recently, Shoemaker and Vos and Shoemaker and Reese , call for a return to Lewin. They argue that Lewin's field theory remains relevant for gatekeeping.

For Shoemaker and Vos , gatekeeping must reconnect with its origins in field theory and add an audience channel to old models of gatekeeping. In several articles and chapters, Karine Barzilai-Nahon disagrees. For Barziali-Nahon , adding new channels to old models does not adequately account for the dynamism of gatekeeping in new media, and the changed roles of gatekeeper and gated. Barzilai-Nahon proposes a new concept, the "gated," and a new theory, network gatekeeping, to model the dynamism of gatekeeping on new media. In this review essay, I first describe the intellectual origins of gatekeeping theory in Lewin's field theory.

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