Monthly Archives: March 2013

Gatekeeping today


Gatekeeping is widely impacted by social media. Without social media, gatekeeping might not exist. It regulates the flow of information. However, because of these new outlets of social media (i.e. blogs, YouTube, iTunes, self-publishers, etc.) there are fewer gates left anymore. However, there are still influencers, people who can persuade others to buy a book or watch a movie or listen to specific music. I’m not sure if social media will ever really allow gatekeeping to go away entirely but the way things are going in the new media scope; gatekeeping is getting pushed out a substantial amount. Anyone who wants to make/share a movie can upload it to YouTube. You don’t need a movie studio or gatekeepers to tell you how and when to do it. Anyone who wants to record/upload an album can get it on iTunes. You don’t need a record label to control your every move. Anyone who wants to be a journalist can just start a blog. You don’t need a newspaper to get your thoughts out there. And, anyone who wants to write a book can self-publish it. You don’t need a publisher anymore.

Gatekeepers are not as influential as they once were. Due to this shift in new media, gatekeeping is being placed on the back-burner  We used to live in a world where gatekeepers made the majority of decisions on what individuals were able to consume through social media. Only so many articles can be printed on a newspaper so the other stories were tucked away, and the gatekeepers were able to control what the people were exposed to. Well not anymore. The tides have changed. Now the artists have more control over the distribution of their work. Throughout the use of the internet, individuals are able to share just about anything to the world.  But there is still the concept of influencers over gatekeepers. Even without gatekeepers, you still need an influencer to get your work out there. You still need someone to tell all their friends about your great book. You still need someone to bring your work into the consumer’s eyesight. But all-in-all, the role of gatekeeper, I think, will always be here. It has diminished a great amount, but there will always be a speck of it somewhere.  There will always be advertising. There will always be someone pushing something. It is just how our world works.