GATEKEEPER is a term used to refer to a person or persons who control
the flow of information. These are the individuals who allow information to pass through
them to be disseminated out to the public. A GATEKEEPER decides what
information the pubic should receive; what information should be accepted or rejected or
kept from public consumption. Newspaper publishers, editors, reporters, television and
radio producers and station owners, broadcasting executives, and even presidential press
secretaries have all been media GATEKEEPERS.
the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt the Gatekeepers of the American
press (editors, reporters, etc.) felt it important that the
American public have the perception that Roosevelt was a vigorous and strong
leader. It was a period in which the country faced domestic and international
crises: the Depression
of 1929, and World War II. During that time pictures printed in the newspaper,
or broadcast in newsreel clips in movie theaters gave this impression.
The GATEKEEPERS had made a conscious decision not
to show Roosevelt's disability or infirmities. He suffered from polio....needed braces and
physical assistance to walk even short distances and was often confined to a wheelchair.
Most American citizens did not know that Roosevelt was crippled
by polio. It was not referred to in print and pictures of a "disabled" president
were kept out of the American media. They were also kept out of the international
media. This was a time of war
and it was deemed imperative that the leader of the United States be perceived
as strong, able to lead the country to victory in wars in the pacific and
in Europe. Even
the meeting at Yalta with Churchill and Stalin show Roosevelt bundled against
the cold with a robe on his lap....never his crutches or wheelchair.
are employed officially by the US government for
disseminating information about war. A military spokesman
gives periodic information to the international press pool
of reporters. The press, and therefore by extension, the
public receive only the information that the government