The Emergence of Second-Screen Gatekeeping

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Mads Hvas Jensen
Legacy media have recently started to include material from social network sites in televised events, including election debates, to enhance the viewing experience of users and to enable interactions between viewers and political candidates. Decisions about which material and which users to include on the screen comprise a new arena for the gatekeeping function of the established media. In this paper, I introduce the concept of second-screen gatekeeping as a theoretical framework for understanding the gatekeeping practice taking place between the first and the second screens. To examine this emergent practice of second-screen gatekeeping, the paper introduces an empirical study of the selection process of material from social network sites in the live-broadcast election debates on Denmark’s two leading television channels, the public service institution DR1 and the commercial station TV2, in the run-up to the European elections in Denmark in 2014, drawing on both qualitative interviews with the individuals responsible for selecting material as well as a quantitative analyses of the distribution of content in the debates. A content analysis of updates from social network sites referenced in the two debates is presented that suggests differences in the selection practices of the two institutions in relation to the thematic content of the updates as well as in terms of which types of users that were referenced on the screen. The findings here testify to the continued centrality of traditional criteria of newsworthiness as well as gatekeepers more generally who continue to exercise control over which content is “fit to the screen”.
Original languageDanish
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)321-338
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 179131938