Grygiel article explores police social media use and its impact on the role of journalists

By Wendy S. Loughlin

May 6, 2020
Image of Jennifer Grygiel

Jennifer Grygiel, assistant professor of communications at the Newhouse School, is the co-author of a recently published article that explores the ways the gatekeeping role of journalists has been impacted by police social media use.

Police Social Media and Broadcast News: An Investigation into the Impact of Police Use of Facebook on Journalists’ Gatekeeping Role” was published May 5 in Journalism Practice, a peer-reviewed academic journal covering the professional practice and relevance of journalism.

Grygiel co-authored the article with former Newhouse faculty member Suzanne Lysak, who is now an associate professor of broadcast journalism and documentary at Chapman University.

Grygiel and Lysak found that social media use by official sources is shifting gatekeeping power from journalists to police.

"I hope this work underscores the risks associated with relying on social media posts from official sources, such as police," Grygiel says. "Journalists need to stay vigilant in the social media age and continue practices like verifying information. Otherwise, there is a risk of journalists’ gatekeeper role evolving to that of merely a curator."

Grygiel says the work is dedicated to late dean Lorraine Branham, who brought Grygiel to Newhouse in 2015. “Lorraine hired me to do this research and believed in it,” Grygiel says.