We Stand with #Nerdland: Gatewatching and Agenda-Building by the “People Formerly Known as the Audience”

  • Stephen R. Barnard


Mainstream news organizations have long held the power to control what information gets into the news, and according to what frames. Nevertheless, online publishing platforms have altered traditional gatekeeping and agenda-setting processes, permitting networked publics with greater access to the journalistic field. But to what extent does this access translate to journalistic influence? This chapter considers a controversy in cable news: the spectacle surrounding MSNBC’s cancellation of the Melissa Harris-Perry show. When considered as part of a temporal order, trends in the Twittersphere are shown to contribute to the flows and frames of news stories published by legacy and digital news organizations. Findings suggest a two-way process of networked gatekeeping and agenda-setting—top-down and bottom-up—operating at the intersection of the political and journalistic fields.


Twitter Journalistic field Gatekeeping Gatewatching Agenda-setting Agenda-building Media criticism Media spectacle Affective publics 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Barnard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologySt. Lawrence UniversityCantonUSA

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