Gatekeeping vs Gatewatching

Before the diffusion of social media including the internet, so-called “gatekeepers” have filtered everything released in the media. Therefore, gatekeeping is used in traditional journalism. Journalists are required to get approval of their contents by their editors. Then, editors act as a gatekeeper who can decide what is the truth and newsworthy.

However, now as gatewatchers have emerged, there are no longer contents which are filtered. What we call “citizen journalists” are actually gatewatching, observing a social media platform and controlling all the news. As a result, there has to be the inevitable fact that people tend to believe aggregated information on social media from many different individuals, in spite of whether or not the information is true.

This can implicate that we do not necessarily rely on just one particular journalist to get information from. Thus, I really like the idea of what journalism scholar Herbert Gans mentioned “multiperspectival news reporting” (Bruns, A, 2009, ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’). Although these news reporting might contain bias as they are created by amateur citizen journalists, what we as a world citizen really want is an up-dating news report every single minutes, which mainstream journalism cannot reach. Just like in Twitter-like Sina Weibo in China, Chinese people are against the government, demanding the improved quality of life (http://blogs.aljazeera.com/blog/asia/chinese-citizen-journalism-succeeds).

On the other hand, I am a little bit wondering how the conventional journalists who have been getting paid by their publications could make their living in the near future when more and more citizen journalists will release more free news reporting.

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One thought on “Gatekeeping vs Gatewatching

  1. I like how you highlight the importance of one needing multiple news sources for information on an issue to be truly accurate. I definitely agree with this. No matter where a person gets their information, whether it be from citizen journalists aggregating material on Twitter, or a qualified journalist writing a story on an issue in a prominent newspaper, there needs to be a variety between sources due to factors such as bias, perspective and opinion that have the potential to affect any issue.

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