Community Media Gatekeeping

1427 Words 6 Pages
Gate-keeping and community
Community media outlets make a gate-keeping decision each time a determination is made whether or not to publish UGC either online or in print. Media gatekeeping relates to the decisions made by journalists about what to publish, without consideration of why those decisions were made (Bass, 1969; White, 1997; Shoemaker & Vos, 2009). However, community media have traditionally made the decision to publish UGC, at least in print (Byerly, 1961; Lauterer, 2006). Community media have used the publication of UGC as a way to interact with and engage the audience (Rennie, 2007). The use of UGC has provided community media a way to have people directly participate with their news (Rennie, 2006). The next issue is to deal with
…show more content…
One of the primary rationales for gate-keeping in digital media world is that it allows journalists to help guide the audience to high-quality content. The perceived merit of UGC is cited by both those in favor of and opposed to its use (Hermida & Thurman, 2008). Inferior quality is a traditional reason why media outlets might oppose the publication of UGC (Lewis, Kaufhold, & Lasorsa, 2010). Quality of material is not the only concern, however, that traditionally relate to gate-keeping decisions. The limited space of the print product was another reason why newspapers used gate-keeping strategies (White, 1997), and the potential opinion of such stakeholders as advertisers and readers was also a consideration (Shoemaker, 1997; Tichenor, Donohue & Olien, 1980). Community newspaper editors in particular experience challenges when deciding what content to publish (Tichenor, Donohue & Olien, 1980; Donohue & Olien, 1997). This relates to the dual role in business and editorial that community newspaper editors typically serve (Kennedy, 1974; Tichenor, Donohue & Olien, 1980). Further, these editors are often solely responsible for selecting content and have more concern for advertising, which may impact their gate-keeping decisions when compared to editors of larger publications (Donohue & Olien, 1997). While the issue of quality control still exists in an online world, space is no …show more content…
Thurman (2011) questions the continued relevance of gate-keeping by journalists because of changes in technology that have allowed the audience to choose their own news. Singer (2014) has argued that the Internet made gate-keeping a two-step process. In this process both the audience and journalists participate in gate-keeping. Singer (2001), in an earlier article, suggested the Internet may eventually result in the elimination of the gate-keeping role altogether. Other researchers believe the journalist’s role has been altered to one in which they no longer limit what information is available, but instead direct the audience toward information from the outside that was vetted and is considered credible by the journalist (Bruns, 2003). Furthermore, users now help determine—through sharing, clicks, and other online functions—how visible articles appear on some news websites; and these actions, by their nature, reduce journalists’ gatekeeping role (Singer, 2014). The increased role of the individual in determining the importance of news, to essentially have their own gate-keeping function, can be seen in the public’s ability to create individualized news, sometimes called the “Daily Me,” (Thurman, 2011). Furthermore, new technology has provided consumers with a number of media through which people can choose to communicate (Kayany, Wotring, & Forrest, 1996).

Related Documents