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Sada Reed and Kathleen A. Hansen

Using gatekeeping theory as a conceptual framework, this study examines social media’s influence on American sports journalists’ perception of gatekeeping, particularly sports journalists who cover elite sports. Seventy-seven print sports journalists covering professional sports were asked if their definition of gatekeeper has changed since they began using social media for news-gathering purposes. Thirty-six participants did not think their definition of gatekeeper had changed. The 26 respondents who did think it had changed were asked to explain how. Responses were coded into 1 of the 5 categories in Shoemaker and Reese’s Hierarchy of Influences model—individual, media routines, organization, extramedia, and ideological. Results suggest that for practitioners who do believe there has been a change, they see social media as changing their day-in, day-out job routines, as opposed to extramedia influences.

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Patrick C. Gentile, Nicholas R. Buzzelli, Sean R. Sadri, and Nathan A. Towery

. Literature Review Hierarchy of Influences Model A number of factors can influence the content that journalists produce. The hierarchy of influences model ( Shoemaker & Reese, 1996 ) posits that there are five different levels of analyses influencing media content, ranging from micro- to macro-level influence