Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Merrill Morris - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Marian Meyers

Third Advisor

Dr. Douglas Barthlow


News provides us with information about our world so we can make decisions about the matters that affect our daily lives—both for our personal and the public good. Television news is a pervasive force in our society, and it is important to study because of the influence it exerts on human action. But news is produced by human beings, and those human beings must make selections and rejections regarding what makes it into a newscast and what doesn’t. In addition, decisions have to be made on how to frame, present, order, word, edit, shape what news items are included. Many forces influence these decisions throughout the complex television news process. Media sociology scholars urge researchers to examine these influences at five levels: the individual, newsroom, organization, extra-organization and societal or cultural levels. This gatekeeping study examined this complex news process at work and revealed the complex set of forces that influence news decisions by news producers at CNN, a global 24-hour news network. By exposing the processes by which the news is made, one can better understand the influences that shape the end product—the news.