Community Gatekeeping: Understanding Information Dissemination by Journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa

Gregory Gondwe, Patrick Ferrucci, Edson C. Tandoc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study contributes to the theory of gatekeeping by examining how community media journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa navigate through conflicting information. Using the case of COVID-19, the study examined how journalists from community media in Zambia and Tanzania reported government information that conflicted with what the local communities they served believed to be untrue. Drawing from interviews with journalists from community media organizations, we were able to demonstrate that there was a schism between what the editors thought as newsworthy versus what the reporters believed as possessing journalistic values relevant for their communities. Unlike the reporters, most editors aligned much with what the government wanted the media to transmit. This is especially true in Zambia where reporters indicated that most of their stories were flagged as irrelevant by their editors. These findings are then examined through the lens of gatekeeping, particularly a focus on various levels of analysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • African journalism studies
  • COVID-19
  • Gatekeeping
  • interviews
  • media sociology
  • social system


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