GATEKEEPING EXERCISE: THE NEWSPAPER
You are the news editor of a local newspaper.
Your job is to decide:
1) What stories, information, graphics, and photos go onto the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper.
2) Where that information is placed on the page.
This type of decision-making or “gatekeeping” goes on every minute in a news operation. We use a newspaper dummy in this assignment to demonstrate how gatekeeping works, but it doesn’t just happen in a newspaper. it happens on websites and apps that supply news to everyone, from video to blogs. Even those TikTok posts you make take gatekeeping – you are making a decision on what to present in a narrow window of time.
A front-page “dummy” has been provided. However, you retain the right in your meeting to redraw the dummy any way you like.
List of items
You have been given more information than most newspaper boards include on a front page. While you have the option of placing all of it on the front page by altering the dummy, it is most likely that some of it must be placed “inside,” or on another page other than the front page. For the purposes of this exercise, do not be concerned about writing headlines.
How to submit the assignment
Print out the dummy. You may handwrite your answers right on the dummy using the supplied list of news items. Use the “slug” name to identify where you have decided to put each item. Take a picture of the dummy with your smartphone and attach it. A screenshot or scan is also acceptable. If for some reason, you cannot print the dummy, you may draw it up on an 8.5×11-inch graph or blank piece of paper, take a picture of it or scan it and attach it.