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Kurt Zadek Lewin (1890-1947), was born in German. He was a great Psychologist and pioneer in Social Psychology. He developed the concept in the field of psychology called psychological “field” and “life space” in order to understand the human behavior and its important consideration of total life space.

His studies are more based on to understand a person’s own world, physical, mental and social through frequent conversation between his pre-memories, desire and his goals. And also his works help to understand the relationship between attitudes and behavior in the group or individuals.

Kurt Lewin coins the word called “Gatekeeping”. It’s nothing but to block unwanted or useless things by using a gate. Here the person who make a decision is called “Gatekeeper”. At first it is widely used in the field of psychology and later it occupies the field of communication. Now it’s one of the essential theories in communication studies.


The Gatekeeper decides what information should move to group or individual and what information should not. Here, the gatekeeper are the decision makers who letting the whole social system. The gatekeeper is having its own influence like social, cultural, ethical and political.

Based on personal or social influences they let the information to the group. Through this process the unwanted, sensible and controversial information’s are removed by the gate keeper which helps to control the society or a group and letting them in a right path. In home mother plays the vital role and she has to decide what their kid’s needs and what should avoid.

gatekeeping theory

Source: charles taylor/Adobe Stock

In news medium editor play vital role. He has to decide what kind of news items will publish and what should not.  Every day the news channel receives various news items from all over the world. The channel have its own ethics and policies through this the editor decide the news items for publish or aired. In some cases few news items are rejected by the editor due the organizations policy or the news items which are not suitable for publish.


An international news channel receives numbers of news items within day like international terror issues, UN discussions, Texas bull fighting and religious abuse on international community.

A news channel can’t show all those news items to audience because it may affect the channel reputation in public and organizations policy.

Here, editor decides the news items especially he can’t show the Texas bull fighting because it is not internationally popular story. But the same time the news channel can’t show the religious abuses also because it may hurt audience directly and it may affect organizations policy also.

But international terror issues and UN discussions are universal common news that won’t affect the channel reputation in public and organizations policy.

News items:

N1: Texas bull fighting, N2: International terror issues, N3: UN discussions, N4: religious abuse on international community


Chief Editor

Selected News Items:

N2: International terror issues, N3: UN discussions,

Discarded News Items: (on popularity)

N1: Texas bull fighting

Discarded News Items: (on policy)

N4: Religious abuse on International community

{ 75 comments… add one }
  • Francis Djabey October 23, 2017, 2:08 am

    It has been really beneficial very comprehensive, you are really doing a good work keep on.

  • mpungu muluta March 10, 2018, 4:07 pm

    thank you for that knowledge, am a student at Kampala international university Uganda on masters degree.

  • shanee phillips March 19, 2018, 1:00 am

    it is extremely helpful as I am a 1st year journalism and media studies student but in terms of referencing it is abit difficult to do so because the individual who wrote this piece isn’t listed as well as the date , please help

  • Batsi Kasawaya April 8, 2018, 10:41 pm

    Very comprehensive. Thank you

  • Lawan Sheikh Muhammad May 8, 2018, 9:09 pm

    Simplified and QED. Explanations satisfactory. What are the latest research on gatekeeping theory. What are the criticisms of the theory?

  • Abirice V.W July 8, 2018, 4:50 pm

    On point

  • Salma consolate August 30, 2018, 11:37 am

    This is really so impressive because you even used illustrations which communicates everything before i read it through
    Am a student of makerere university in the department of adult and community education keep up the spirit thanks

  • Praveen November 2, 2018, 8:23 am


  • Carol December 7, 2018, 3:53 am

    Thank you.with the example,I have understood the theory very well.

  • Pradeep Wijekoon January 3, 2019, 11:24 pm

    Very inpromative and clear. Thanks

  • Md.Sarwar Hossain April 22, 2019, 10:19 pm

    helpful content….that helps me to prepare for giving a presentation on media gatekeeping.

  • Smitha May 9, 2019, 10:21 pm

    Thank you. Clear. Helped me in mu viva voice

  • Ameen Hafeez June 27, 2019, 2:23 pm

    Very informative, thanks for this piece

  • Allison Ward November 5, 2019, 1:48 am

    Honestly, I did not know of the Gatekeeper Theory until today. Thank you for the detailed explanation of gatekeeping. However, it looks like the “Gatekeeper” for this post may have overlooked the first sentence…Germany. The information is very appreciated and thanks.

  • Mary Mbariro November 8, 2019, 4:21 am

    Thanks so much I have understood the theory since you used examples I am a student at Midlands state university doing media and Society studies

  • Fordjour Anita November 20, 2019, 6:51 pm

    It’s very understandable. Especially the examples; the examples have thrown more light on the content I read. Am a student of University of professional studies- Accra.
    Thanks a lot.

  • EMMANUEL KAMARA January 13, 2020, 9:06 pm

    more about the gatekeeping theory

  • Eneme Gift February 9, 2020, 10:49 am

    Thanks so much for this. Am a 1st year student of Journal and mass communication in the University of Buena. Cameroon. What are the asumptions, weaknesses of this theory.

  • Nader February 16, 2020, 11:46 am

    How was this theory used by Trump in his campaign ?

  • Nader March 26, 2020, 9:53 pm

    I was thinking about how Donald Trump used this theory during election. Using this theory through Media, could helped him and his administration to win the presidency.

    Does anyone know how that happened ??

  • nazish Khalid October 5, 2020, 10:47 pm

    Very helpful thank u very much.

  • Rabiu Oluwatosin October 30, 2020, 5:04 pm

    This is simplified and very helpful.

  • Blessings kwete December 15, 2020, 2:39 am

    Thank you very much found it very helpful to my presentation I’m a student at Nust university doing publishing studies

  • Lidwin Namondo December 20, 2020, 12:05 pm

    This information has being very helpful to me as I’m now aware what gatekeeping it’s all about. Thanks very much this really helped me out.

  • Chisomo khomba September 28, 2022, 7:40 pm

    This is clearly explained,my lecture gave us an assessment and one of the questions was to define Gate keeping,and honestly speaking I did not write anything because I was blank about the term but now i can shine to the world.Am a student at Mzuzu Technical College am studying ICT

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