Are The Media Gates Closing? Rethinking Media Gatekeeping Function in User Generated Contents

By: Margaret SOLO-ANAETO, Olusegun OJOMO, PhD. & Patricia ERNEST- ONUIRI, PhD

Margaret SOLO-ANAETO, Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
Olusegun OJOMO, PhD., Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
Patricia E. ERNEST-ONUIRI (PhD), Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT

Gatekeeping is a traditional function of the mass media that involves selecting, vetting and determining news and information disseminated to the public. This paper examined the changes in media gatekeeping resulting from innovations in information technology such as new media, and modifications in the present news gathering process which allowed for user generated contents. It examined power shift, plurality of news sources, self as source as undermining the gatekeeping function of the mainstream mass media. It supported the position that gatekeeping may no longer be strictly applicable in this era of online news communication, rather the concept of gatewatching which entailed the media taking up the role of identifying relevant news and information from the various news source and directing public attention to them, appeared to be more suitable.

 

Keywords: New Media, User Generated Content, Gatekeeping, Gatewatching

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