The SAGE Key Concepts series provide students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Key Concepts in Journalism offers a systematic and accessible introduction to the terms, processes, and effects of journalism;a combination of practical considerations with theoretical issues; and further reading suggestions. The authors bring an enormous range of experience in newspaper and broadcast journalism, at national and regional level, as well as their teaching expertise. This book will be essential reading for students in journalism, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers.


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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