• Summary
  • Contents

The SAGE Key Concepts series provides 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 Public Relations:

  • Provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use overview to the field
  • Covers over 150 central concepts in PR
  • Paves the way for students to tackle primary texts
  • Grounds students in both practice and theory
  • Takes it further with recommended reading

A term which has its origins in social and organisational psychology of the 1940s and 1950s (Lewin, 1947) and essentially refers to a person who controls the flow of some commodity to the intended receiver through a series of ‘gates’.

In a media context, the concept has become associated with a role as a filter of information, deciding what kinds of material are suitable for mass publication. Lewin's original work was applied to a journalism context by White (1950) who studied the impact of editorial decisions and personal bias on coverage of particular issues and individuals.

The idea was later extended by McCombs and Shaw (1976) to add weight to the theory of agenda setting, in which the media have a crucial role to play in ...

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