The Gatekeepers of News

How people get their news now is very different than in the past. It’s not just newspaper, TV or radio any more; it’s social media like Tik Tok and Instagram. Some think this is a good thing, while others worry that there’s too much fake news out there.

The people who decide what is newsworthy are called gatekeepers. They are the people who sift through the information that comes to them and choose what will be published in their medium, whether it be a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV show or posted on a website. They can be a group of editors, news directors or even managers. They take recommendations from reporters, assistant editors and many other people within their organization and make decisions about what is newsworthy.

Events that happen every day don’t usually make the news. If a man gets up in the morning, eats breakfast and takes the bus to work it is not newsworthy, but if the same thing happens to someone famous it will be a big story. Newsworthiness also depends upon how significant an event is. A story about a house fire resulting in the death of one person is less interesting than a story about a fire that killed 100 people.

Stories about entertainment and celebrity also are of interest to people. People want to know what stars are doing, where they’re going and who they’re with. Stories about sex are also of interest, particularly those involving behaviour that goes outside society’s generally accepted standards.

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