Individual and routine forces in gatekeeping

Pamela J. Shoemaker, Martin Eichholz, Eunyi Kim, Brenda Wrigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Lewin's concept of "force" is explored in this study, which shows support for the proposition that newspaper gatekeeping is influenced more by forces on the routine level of analysis than by individual staff writers' characteristics. Newspaper stories about fifty Congressional bills were content analyzed, and two surveys were conducted of the stories' writers and of editors at their newspapers. No individual-level force was related to the quantity of coverage the bills received, whereas editors'aggregated assessment of bills' newsworthiness was positively related to quantity of bills' newspaper coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-246
Number of pages14
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quaterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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