You are on page 1of 2

Gene P. Puro Jr.

What is gatekeeping?
Gatekeeping is the process through which information is filtered for
dissemination, whether for publication, broadcasting, the Internet, or some other
mode of communication.
Gatekeeping is a process by which information is filtered to the public by the
media. According to Pamela Shoemaker and Tim Vos, gatekeeping is the "process
of culling and crafting countless bits of information into the limited number of
messages that reach people every day, and it is the center of the media's role in
modern public life. This process determines not only which information is
selected, but also what the content and nature of the messages, such as news,
will be.
One example are the gatekeepers on television. A host may say something
rude and the job of the gatekeeper is to filter that part of the show and remove it
before it is shown in public television.
What is the Hypodermic Needle Theory?
The "hypodermic needle theory" implied mass media had a direct,
immediate and powerful effect on its audiences. The mass media in the 1940s
and 1950s were perceived as a powerful influence on behavior change.
The theory suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of
people directly and uniformly by ‘shooting’ or ‘injecting’ them with appropriate
messages designed to trigger a desired response.
The classic example of the application of the Magic Bullet Theory was
illustrated on October 30, 1938 when Orson Welles and the newly formed
Mercury Theater group broadcasted their radio edition of H.G. Wells' "War of the
Worlds."On the eve of Halloween, radio programming was interrupted with a
"news bulletin" for the first time. What the audience heard was that Martians had
begun an invasion of Earth in a place called Grover's Mill, New Jersey.

It became known as the "Panic Broadcast" and changed broadcast history, social
psychology, civil defense and set a standard for provocative entertainment.
Approximately 12 million people in the United States heard the broadcast and
about one million of those actually believed that a serious alien invasion was
underway. A wave of mass hysteria disrupted households, interrupted religious
services, caused traffic jams and clogged communication systems. People fled
their city homes to seek shelter in more rural areas, raided grocery stores and
began to ration food. The nation was in a state of chaos, and this broadcast was
the cause of it.

leading theorists to believe this was one of the primary ways media authors shaped audience perception. attempting to create a uniform thinking. by injecting the message directly into the "bloodstream" of the public. This is exactly how the theory worked.Media theorists have classified the "War of the Worlds" broadcast as the archetypal example of the Magic Bullet Theory. The effects of the broadcast suggested that the media could manipulate a passive and gullible public. .