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The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology, 2021, 3(6); doi: 10.25236/FSST.2021.030605.

Does Social Media Expand the Traditional Role of Chinese TV Journalists as Gatekeeper on Weibo and WeChat J-accounts


Yuxin Liu1, Anais Auge2, Weijun Yan1

Corresponding Author:
Weijun Yan

1Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, 201701, China

2Language and Communication Studies School, University of East Anglia, UK, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ


This study investigates how TV journalists negotiate their “gatekeeping” on ‘output’ stage and showcase various facettes of roles during the gatekeeping process on Weibo and WeChat personal accounts (J-accounts). Based on a semi-structured interviews with journalists, we show the different uses of Weibo and WeChat, which are useful tools for journalists to share information, search news resources and check facts when conducting the journalistic gatekeeping. TV journalists – as “gatekeepers” – are unwilling to allow audiences to participate in news delivering on ‘output’ stage. TV journalists’ different performances on J-accounts show that they act as news spreaders, news gatherers and verifiers, which is coherent with the task of “gatekeeping” on TV. Journalists also perform as information explainers and rumor refuters, these tasks are beyond traditional “gatekeeping” on TV. Journalists adapt their use of social media to fit traditional professional norms as well as adapting those norms to fit the media logic of the social media platform. This research initially combines content analysis with interview to examine and compare different journalistic practice regarding various uses of Weibo and WeChat and reflects comprehensively facettes of journalistic roles during gatekeeping. It contributes to the empirical analysis of various aspects of ‘gatekeeping practices’ in China.


Chinese TV journalists, gatekeeping, Weibo and WeChat, journalistic practice, roles

Cite This Paper

Yuxin Liu, Anais Auge, Weijun Yan. Does Social Media Expand the Traditional Role of Chinese TV Journalists as Gatekeeper on Weibo and WeChat J-accounts. The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology (2021) Vol. 3, Issue 6: 29-37. https://doi.org/10.25236/FSST.2021.030605.


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