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Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper

Developed in the seminal American studies of the 1950s (White, 1950; Carter, 1958), a gatekeeper is an individual who filters out and disregards unwanted, uninteresting and/or unimportant information or stories and attends to information of more import. Adopted from the work of social psychologist Kurt Lewin, ‘gatekeeping’ was developed in these early studies to include not just individuals attending to but also imparting information, and applied to the study of journalism. White shows that the subject of his study, Mr Gates, ‘received approximately 12,400 inches of press association news from the AP, UP and INS during the week [studied]. Of this he used 1,297 column inches of wire news, or about one tenth in the seven issues we measured’ (1950:65). White argued that the ...

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