Saving some news for later: The making and gatekeeping process of the national TV news filler

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


News often gives the false impression that news events are always and everywhere, and that the amount of news that happens in the world every day almost just exactly fits the news platform. For news people, so it seems, there are no dull moments; even when things are slow, something always comes up. News is, therefore, deemed important and is often trusted to be a selection of eminent information, a thing of consequence (Liebes, 2000; Katz, 1989).
Of course, not everything is in the news is 'important'. Filler items in the news, for example, are items that are kept aside for various reasons, and therefore play an important part in the overall selection of news daily. Yet surprisingly, scholarship on such items is extremely scarce (see e.g., Limor et al., 2007; Rosenthal, 2005), particularly that which is focused on their manufacturing mechanisms as part of the complex decision-making and gatekeeping processes inside the newsroom as to what goes in the news, what is left out, and what is kept for later.
This paper is focused on the selection of news as they come into play in the formation and gatekeeping process of a particular news item in local TV news, the filler item (the shelf item as it is described by Israeli TV news professionals). Based on a thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with Israeli TV news professionals combined with a textual analysis of a potential TV news filler item, I aim at providing fresh insight into a little studied, nevertheless important, instance of gatekeeping processes in local TV news. In so doing, this paper provides a glimpse into how, and for what reasons, new stories are prioritized, and the ways in which the stories that are kept aside and left for later illustrate the overall production of newsworthiness.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018
EventWhat's (the) News? Values, Viruses and Vectors of Newsworthiness - Third biennial conference of the Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJU), Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 13 Dec 201814 Dec 2018


ConferenceWhat's (the) News? Values, Viruses and Vectors of Newsworthiness


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