Gatekeeping is a popular and enduring metaphor in journalism studies. It has been conceptualized as a journalistic role, a model that describes the flow of news, and a theory that explains the process of news selection. Gatekeeping refers to the process of how bits of information pass through a series of gates and end up in the news. But aside from describing the complex process of news construction, gatekeeping is also a concept imbued with normative assumptions. Coined at a time when news audiences had a limited choice of news sources and journalists had limited space for their news outputs, gatekeeping had important implications and consequences on what pieces of information ultimately reached the public. However, the digitization of news has weakened, if not eradicated, such constraints. News audiences now actively take part in news construction and distribution, breaking journalists' monopoly over news. Information about newsworthy events now flow through both journalists' and audiences' channels. This has important implications on how we understand and value gatekeeping.
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- Field theory
- News construction
- Social media