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Annotated Bibliography

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

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Annotated Bibliography:



Destiny Lewis and the Theorists! have chosen to focus on the gatekeeping theory in six main areas of multimedia, i.e.: radio, television, film, print media, the internet, and we also wanted to take a glance at the gatekeeping in the United States and compare/contrast it with other countries abroad. 



Abbott, E., & Brassfield, L. (1989). Comparing decisions on releases by TV and

        newspaper gatekeepers. Journalism Quarterly, 66(4), 853-856.  Retrieved

        March 25, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.


Abbott and Brassfield’s research about the nature of gate keeping revealed some of the criteria many gatekeepers use. The study chose large and small television and newspaper companies in the Midwest and monitored the news release decisions that were made along with the reasons for their choices. Of the eight daily newspapers and five commercial television stations studied, TV gatekeepers overwhelmingly chose news releases based on the visual possibilities present. The researchers also found that small TV stations, not newspaper companies (as suggested in previous studies), accepted the most news releases. Large TV stations accepted the least amount of news releases. All gatekeepers identified “localness” and “impact/interest” as the prominent reasons to keep or reject a news release and many of them favored “tailored” news releases over other forms of news. 


Carter, T. (1998).  Electronic gatekeepers: locking out the marketplace of ideas. 

        Communication Law & Policy, 3(3), 389.  Retrieved April 2, 2008, from

        Communication & Mass Media Complete database.


The Hutchins Commission has always been concerned with the small amount of people who dictate which information is sent out to the masses. Due to recent technological advances there are now many more ways of retrieving information than the government can regulate. Gatekeeping may be abused by the editor who decides what story makes it in or doesn’t, but gate keeping is also beneficial when done the correct way, getting the public the information they need without including any irrelevant material. On the Internet, there is concern about the current lack of electronic gatekeepers. With video logs, blogs, and other material freely available to the public, a more effective means of controlling what is on the web may be necessary.


Dimitrova, D.V. (2003).  Hyperlinking as gatekeeping: online newspaper coverage

        of the execution of an American terrorist.  Journalism Studies, 4(3), 401-414.


In 2001, convicted American Terrorist Timothy McVeigh was executed.  McVeigh's execution became the subject for a study of the relationship between hyperlinks and gatekeeping in the mass media.  The study included the nation's top 15 newspapers, since they would all have coverage of such a major event.  Also, it was easier to study hyperlinks within a unique context.  The execution was a planned event, and therefore every news agency had plenty of time to plan their coverage strategically.  Aside from confirming the presence of gatekeepers on the Internet, there were two additional findings from this study.  First was to confirm that hyperlinks have indeed altered the shape of gatekeeping.  Second, newspapers are not being responsible in the way they use hyperlinks.  According to Dimitrova's research, only 4.1 percent of the hyperlinks available within the articles led to outside sources.  Most of the links resolved internally, keeping the reader within the newspaper's domain.  Others sent the user to websites operated by sponsors of the newspaper.  "Contrary to arguements that the Internet is a more egalitarian medium, online news readers are still given tightly monitored link choices" (p. 412).


Donohew, L. (1967).  Newspaper gatekeepers and forces in the news channel.

        Public Opinion Quarterly, 31(1), 61-68. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from Academic

        Search Premier database.


Newspaper editors seem to be influenced in their decisions by a number of factors.  The three possible factors studied in this research were the editor's personal opinion, the editor's notion of the political views of their readership, and the community conditions present.  Donohew chose to examine the topic of gatekeeping by examining the issue of Medicare during the 1960s.  Based on the placement of the story (front page, back page, etc.), as well as how much space was given to the issue, Donohew's study found that the single most important factor on how an editor portrayed the Medicare issue was the editor's own personal opinion on the matter. 


Hargittai, E. (2000). Standing before the portals: non-profit websites in an age of

        commercial gatekeepers. Info, 2(6), 543-550.


With the vast amount of information available on the Internet, users are overwhelmed with options.  Portals - sites like Yahoo! and Google - are one-stop shops for finding information on the web, and represent a form of gatekeeping on the Internet.  While their services are valuable, they are operated with the single goal of making a profit.  In order to make a profit, these portals 'sell your eyes' to advertisers.  The more you use a portal, the more information gets collected about you.  Eventually, they hope to be able to target whatever specific needs you may have expressed at one time or another, revealed through your use of the portal, which reveals a hyperlink trail of large companies who can afford to buy your interests.  According to the author, a study showed that over 85% of users never go past the first page after conducting a search using a portal.  This leaves us only with large content sites or sites that have paid to be there.  Non-profit websites in particular are at a disadvantage when trying to get their messages seen online.  While their content may be more valuable and/or relevant to certain users, many non-profit websites simply don't register with the portals, suggesting the need for an alternative online search mechanism.


Hickson III, M., Bodon, J., & Powell, L. (1999).  Critiques of gatekeeping in scholarly

        journals: an analysis of perceptions and data. Journal of the Association of

        Communication Administration, 28(2), 60-70. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from

        Communication & Mass Media Complete database.


When an article is read and reviewed in a scholarly journal, what influences might come about that can change the article?  The study presented here examines the changes that are made to news articles in relation to gatekeeping theory.  Sometimes, whether deliberately or otherwise, the original work is manipulated specifically for inclusion in a scholarly journal.  Often, there are slight changes made that have tremendous impact, as they alter the meaning of the article.  Another issue is that an editorial board may be too small and may have a bias in determining what to publish.  Another form of gatekeeping that exists on this level is the decision of whose work will be published in academic journals, indicating that only certain voices will be heard.  This final point must be examined in terms of its effect on the academic community.


Lee, J., & Berkowitz, D. (2004). Third gatekeeping in Korea: the screening of first-edition

        newspapers by public relations practitioners. Public Relations Review, 30(3), 313-325.

        Retrieved March 28, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database. 


Third Gatekeeping is a method of gatekeeping that originates from South Korea. The bottom line with Third Gatekeeping is that the major newspapers provide a first edition of each of their papers that is reviewed by practitioners. This copy is essentially a test version of the day’s paper and is more detailed than the version the public will see, adding another filter to the gatekeeping process. Third Gatekeeping is compared with the U.S. method of newspaper distribution and detailed findings are covered in the results. One major finding with regards to the differences between the U.S. system and the Korean system is that public relations plays a much greater role in the gate keeping process in Korea. Third Gatekeeping is also examined in terms of journalistic ethics, as some feel that it is a definite breach.


Livingston, S., & Bennett, W. (2003). Gatekeeping, indexing, and live-event news: is

        technology altering the construction of news? Political Communication, 20(4), 363.

        Retrieved April 19, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete.


People today are interested in event-driven news. News that is quick, on-time, and uncut. The gatekeepers that usually select and cue political events are now being replaced by video bloggers and online streaming. Video bloggers and online streaming still needs live event coverage and news stations still try and orchestrate live coverage while airing it. The problem is that we have become increasingly desensitized to the forced news coverage of "hard news," that it does not excite us anymore. Hard news features are being replaced with soft news and more entertaining news that keep the audience entertained. The younger generation is a very visual generation that wants to see the truth of what is going on rather than be told by a news reporter in a studio. Journalism is growing immensely due to the raw literature that can be written without numerous gatekeepers deciding what makes it into the news or not.


Riffe, D., Sneed, D., & Van Ommeren, R. (1987). Deciding the limits of taste in editorial

        cartooning. Journalism Quarterly, 64(2), 607-610. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from

        Communication & Mass Media Complete database.


One battle that consistently rages on in the newspaper world is the battle between editors and editorial cartoonists. The cartoonist viewed his or her role very differently from the editor. Cartoonists see themselves as being very independent. They believe they are free from editorial decision-making. Cartoonists often treat every subject as fair game, which can come into conflict with an editor and the message he or she is sending out to the audience. Ultimately it is the editor’s decision whether or not to publish a cartoon, and when a cartoon is rejected, many artists feel like a conservative voice has been given the power to limit their right to free speech. In the end, however, the power in this example of gate keeping is in the hands of the editor and not the cartoonist.


Shoemaker, Pamela J. (1996). Media gatekeeping, 79-91. In Salwen, Michael B. & Stacks,

        Don W. (Eds.), An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research.

        Mahwah, New Jersey: University of Miami Press.


Gatekeeping has an inherent role in the news gathering and dissemination processes. Decisions about what news to write about, what details to include and omit, and how this information should be presented are all functions that exemplify some form of gate keeping. Gatekeepers will often exercise their own preferences when filtering information, or they will sometimes represent the wishes of a parent company and agree to abide by a set of pre-established policies. Gatekeeping is present throughout many levels and forms of the media, and the importance of the active role that gate keeping plays in the way stories are sold to the public cannot be overestimated. Media gate keeping plays a tremendous role in what the viewer receives from his or her news source.


Shoemaker, P., Eichholz, M., Kim, E., & Wrigley, B. (2001). Individual and routine forces in

        gatekeeping. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 78(2), 233-246. Retrieved

        March 19, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.


Kurt Lewin is a significant player in the world of media gatekeeping. Lewin believes that every news event is directly affected by a series of outside “forces” that either help or hinder the story’s path through the gatekeeping process. Combining Lewin’s theory of gatekeeping with Shoemaker’s model of news and newsworthiness can help determine how several common factors work to influence the newsworthiness of Congressional Bills. The study is the first to examine how common forces involved in the gatekeeping process impact the flow of information. Fifty Congressional Bills that were passed between 1996 and 1998 were examined in detail, with the object being to explore how certain factors changed or influenced the way U.S. newspapers covered these bills. For the most part, the accuracy of the Lewin-Shoemaker model of gate keeping was confirmed.


Singer, J. B. (2005). The political j-blogger ‘normalizing’ a new media form to fit old norms

        and practices. Journalism, 6(2), 173-198.


The relationship between Blogs and journalism is undeniable, but are blogs truly the antidote to traditional media, as many believe them to be? To a large number of people who produce, consume, or study media, blogs are representative of the battle against gatekeeping. But in truth, do blogs actually combat or enforce gatekeeping? Twenty blogs were examined by Singer, ten national and ten regional. Each of these blogs was updated at least five days a week, and the blogger was a working journalist associated with a newspaper. Despite the anti-gatekeeping persona of blogs, it appears as though journalists are maintaining their role as gatekeepers even within the blog-o-sphere. The journalists responsible for these twenty blogs, for instance, often provided their readers with hyperlinks that pointed to material that simply restated the initial opinion of the author.


Storm, E. (2007). The endurance of gatekeeping in an evolving newsroom: a multimethod

        study of web-generated user content. Conference Papers -- International Communication

       Association, Retrieved March 19, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete



There have been numerous technological advances in the world of media that have directly affected news gatherers and reporters. No factor has had a greater impact than online media. In this day and age there is a direct connection between professional news gatherers and the public. In order to determine how a newspaper’s website might be influenced by citizen journalists, and also to find out what effect they may have on the print version, a unique approach is required. The gatekeepers at The Bluffton Daily in South Carolina were examined in a study designed to measure these effects. While many newspaper websites are a simple regurgitation of a paper’s print version, The Bluffton Daily makes creative use of its online division. Not only is the public’s direct feedback via the website a major component, but the staff at The Bluffton Daily also uses information that is contributed to the website for the creation of stories in its print newspaper. This unique twist shows that gate keeping can be used in a number of contexts and that it has several practical uses.


Whitney, D., & Becker, L. (1982). 'Keeping the gates' for gatekeepers: the effects of wire news.

        Journalism Quarterly, 59(1), 60-65. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from Communication & Mass

        Media Complete database.


Wire service editors basically set the international news agenda, with stories being wired frequently throughout all seven continents. News that comes through a wire service must be examined closely when editing because there may be difficulty understanding some of the details, or even the overall importance of the story. Studies involving a Midwestern wire news editor showed that the news received through wire services was already selective and the wire news editor was left with the remains of someone else’s decision. It was up to the wire editor to then take those remains and make something coherent out of them. Because of this, researchers put together a study called ‘Wire News Effects on Gatekeepers.’ The study found that newspaper editors selected more of the accidents, disasters, and crimes when choosing which stories to run, whereas the TV editors selected the more political and nationally-relevant stories. This study confirms that what viewers actually see in their newscasts depends largely on who is editing the material to begin with.



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