Gatekeeping is one of the media’s central roles in public life: people rely on mediators to transform information about billions of events into a manageable number of media messages. This process determines not only which information is selected, but also what the content and nature of messages, such as news, will be. Gatekeeping Theory describes the powerful process through which events are covered by the mass media, explaining how and why certain information either passes through gates or is closed off from media attention. This book is essential for understanding how even single, seemingly trivial gatekeeping decisions can come together to shape an audience’s view of the world, and illustrates what is at stake in the process.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Significance of Gatekeeping. Part I: Understanding Gatekeeping 1. Understanding the Concept 2. The Gatekeeping Process Part II: Gatekeeping--Levels of Analysis 3. The Individual Level of Analysis 4. The Communication Routines Level of Analysis 5. The Organizational Level of Analysis 6. The Social Institution Level of Analysis 7. The Social System Level of Analysis Part III: Theorizing about Gatekeeping 8. Field Theory and Gatekeeping 9. Gatekeeping Channels 10. Gatekeeping in the 21st Century
Pamela J. Shoemaker is John Ben Snow Professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is author of News Around the World (with Akiba Cohen), How to Build Social Science Theories (with James Tankard and Dominic Lasorsa), and Mediating the Message (with Stephen Reese).
Tim P. Vos is Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies at the University of Missouri.
"More than a half century ago David Manning White watched newspaper editors pick wire stories for publication and called it ‘gatekeeping’—stories in or out. Today, scholars Pamela Shoemaker and Tim Vos point out, we use gatekeeping to explain how we make choices in many contexts and how our choices shape the cognitive worlds in which we all live. This excellent book shows that it not as simple as it looks."—Donald L. Shaw, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Understanding the origins of the news reports and information available from an ever growing array of media is vital for citizens, communication professionals and scholars. Gatekeeping Theory provides a comprehensive examination of the processes involved in the construction of these media agendas."—Maxwell McCombs, University of Texas at Austin
"Shoemaker and Vos go deep into the historical roots of one of our field’s central concepts, integrate a broad collection of theoretical dimensions, and ultimately bring us a fresh vision of gatekeeping. This book should be required reading for journalism scholars who want to build a grounding in our field and engage in theoretical conversations for the future."—Dan Berkowitz, University of Iowa
"The gatekeeping process has compelled scholarly attention since its introduction, providing an intuitive thread through the many factors shaping media. Although conceptually originally predicated on scarcity and winnowing, gatekeeping still guides research—as this volume shows with theoretical imagination and precision--even in today’s media environment of seeming abundance."—Stephen D. Reese, University of Texas at Austin
'The reference list at the end of the book is extensive and gives good leads for further reading in this fascinating subject' - Lilly Hunter, AllmediaScotland.com.