AMANI CHANNEL, MA UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA AEJMC, DENVER 2010 Gatekeeping and Citizen Journalism: A Qualitative Examina...
Introduction <ul><li>Gatekeeping is a longstanding Mass Communications theory (White, 1950). </li></ul><ul><li>A select fe...
Background <ul><li>Internet, technology, & user-generated content (citizen journalism) has been disruptive to traditional ...
Research Holes <ul><li>Beard & Olsen, 1999 - Identify holes related to gatekeeping and the Internet.  Qualitative study ex...
Current Study <ul><li>Examines Gatekeeping Theory (White, 1950) and user-generated content (citizen journalism). </li></ul...
Qualitative Research & Questions <ul><li>Reason for a qualitative study:  Subject matter doesn’t have “firm guidelines or ...
Findings <ul><li>RQ1. Technology and the Web is used to solicit and gather user-generated content. </li></ul><ul><li>The c...
Findings  <ul><li>RQ2. Potentially newsworthy stories are pitched/shared with CNN TV and Web producers. </li></ul><ul><li>...
Findings <ul><li>RQ3 – An established vetting process is applied to all iReports (iReporters are interviewed about submiss...
Conclusion <ul><li>Multiple “Gates” - Online community, algorithm, iReport producers (vet/pitch), iReport TV/Web producers...
Questions? <ul><li>Thank You! </li></ul><ul><li>Amani Channel </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter ...
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CNN, Citizen Journalism, iReport, and Gatekeeping

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Amani Channel's research presentation for AEJMC 2010, Denver. "Gatekeeping and Citizen Journalism: A Qualitative Examination of Participatory Newsgathering."

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CNN, Citizen Journalism, iReport, and Gatekeeping

  1. 1. AMANI CHANNEL, MA UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA AEJMC, DENVER 2010 Gatekeeping and Citizen Journalism: A Qualitative Examination of Participatory Newsgathering
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Gatekeeping is a longstanding Mass Communications theory (White, 1950). </li></ul><ul><li>A select few decision makers control what information passes through the editorial news gates. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective process that is also influenced by organizational standards, economic constraints, technology, and visual elements (broadcast news). </li></ul><ul><li>Research suggests that traditional gatekeeping is being challenged by digital/new media. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Internet, technology, & user-generated content (citizen journalism) has been disruptive to traditional media (Bruns, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Scholars suggest that we are witnessing an end of mass communications (Chaffee & Mertzger, 2001). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Future journalists will need to be trained to not only be critical gatekeepers, but also act as listeners, discussion and forum leaders/mediators in an intimate interaction with their audiences” (Nguyen, 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>Scholars suggest that a communications paradigm shift is underway (Bruns, 2006; Jenkins, 2006). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research Holes <ul><li>Beard & Olsen, 1999 - Identify holes related to gatekeeping and the Internet. Qualitative study examined Webmasters as gatekeepers. </li></ul><ul><li>Boczkowski, 2004 - Identifies holes related to how technology is affecting news production. </li></ul><ul><li>Bruns, (2008) “Lack of established research tools and methodologies… because of a limited understanding of how we may define citizen journalism itself.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Current Study <ul><li>Examines Gatekeeping Theory (White, 1950) and user-generated content (citizen journalism). </li></ul><ul><li>Research Question: How is gatekeeping affected by participatory media in a network news organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology: Qualitative study involving in depth interviews of CNN’s iReport producers (Beard & Olson, 1999). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Qualitative Research & Questions <ul><li>Reason for a qualitative study: Subject matter doesn’t have “firm guidelines or specific procedures and is evolving and changing constantly” (Cresswell 1998 p.27). </li></ul><ul><li>RQ1: How is technology used to gather user-generated media, and what procedures are in place to solicit it? </li></ul><ul><li>RQ2: How is content shared across the web and cable network? </li></ul><ul><li>RQ3: What criteria are used to determine if user generated media meets established news standards? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Findings <ul><li>RQ1. Technology and the Web is used to solicit and gather user-generated content. </li></ul><ul><li>The community is used to gather potentially newsworthy (credible) stories. </li></ul><ul><li>A community based model (members can upload photos and video). Algorithm helps locate popular content. </li></ul><ul><li>CNN’s iReport team creates assignments. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally hard news (breaking), human interest stories, and enterprise journalism are most commonly featured. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Findings <ul><li>RQ2. Potentially newsworthy stories are pitched/shared with CNN TV and Web producers. </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Daily e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Any CNN producer can use vetted iReports. </li></ul><ul><li>TV and Web producers make the final decision if an iReport will be used. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Findings <ul><li>RQ3 – An established vetting process is applied to all iReports (iReporters are interviewed about submissions). </li></ul><ul><li>Content must meet same rigorous standards as traditional content (verified twice). </li></ul><ul><li>Content appears to fall within the news agenda of national coverage. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of iReports (breaking) that have aired: VA Tech Massacre, Obama inauguration ticket problems, Iran election crisis. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Conclusion <ul><li>Multiple “Gates” - Online community, algorithm, iReport producers (vet/pitch), iReport TV/Web producers (final decision). </li></ul><ul><li>It appears to be participatory gatekeeping (technological, community, iReport unit, CNN producers. </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations: No CNN producers participated. </li></ul><ul><li>Future research: </li></ul><ul><li>Apply gatewatching to citizen journalism </li></ul><ul><li>Is iReport becoming a trusted news brand? </li></ul><ul><li>Any similarities between the way CNN and other local or national news orgs. select and vet USG. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Questions? <ul><li>Thank You! </li></ul><ul><li>Amani Channel </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter @urbanreporter </li></ul>

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