Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version



Published in Journalism Quarterly 62:3 (Autumn 1985), pp. 633-636. Copyright (c) 1985 AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication).


Both newspaper editors and reporters act as decision makers in their selections of "newsworthy" events to be published. But what editors include in newspapers is influenced by the news values of their colleagues or superiors. Studies of gatekeepers who control the flow of news have reported such results about the news selection process. Individual opinions of editors, newsroom schedules and publication technicalities, and news sources were found to affect choices of stories. Similarly, selected social and structural characteristics of media organizations had "subjective" implications for media "output." Other studies suggested that a high degree of similarity occurred in the news selection process among television and newspaper editors, and among journalism instructors and their students. Photographers and editors, along with photojournalism teachers, also were quite alike in their selection of news photographs. While these various gatekeeping studies attempted to describe the aspects of news selection process, not one study focused on the homogeneity of the news process, or the lack of it, among editors and reporters within a state. We wanted to find out in what types of news situations reporters and editors differ.