- a) Identify and discuss who the traditional gatekeepers of information and first informers Compare and contrast how they gather and share information and whether traditional gatekeepers should feel threatened by new technologies and the speed in which information is transmitted
First, Gate-keeping entails a process where information gets filtered to the public through the media. It involves culling as well as the crafting of countless bits of information to come up with a limited volume of messages to be consumed by people. The process does not only determine the type of information selected, but also the content type and nature of messages like news. Among the traditional gatekeepers are the newspaper outlets as well as radio and television editors. Law enforcement agencies, as well as leaders, also determined which type of information to reach the public. Traditional Gate-keeping occurs at all media structure levels —from reporters deciding which sources are included in the story to editors determining stories to be printed or covered, and encompasses media outlet owners as well as advertisers. During the crisis, listeners, as well as viewers, always count on local broadcasters to always be available. As the most trusted news source and emergency updates, people’s first choice is the local television as well as radio stations to get the information for purposes of keeping safe. While traditional gatekeepers gather accurate information from a source skewed to their interest, first informers pick information that is public particular. Therefore, traditional gatekeepers determine the type of information to the audience while first informers give information that is whole without alteration. In traditional gate-keeping, Information goes step by step across channels. Channels number varies and time duration in each channel may vary. This situation is not the case in first informers. In traditional gate-keeping information must go through a “gate” to enter the next. At the same time, forces govern the channels. Opposing psychological forces always exist and cause conflict that creates resistance to the movement. At the same time, several channels exist but lead to a typical result.
There is a great reason to worry on the side of traditional gatekeepers from the fact that new technologies have speed regarding transmitting information. While they may desire to infiltrate the information so that they influence the type of content, the new technology gives the real picture and in without waste of a single second. As a result, what may be given out by traditional gatekeepers may become irrelevant from the fact that the new technologies will have already delivered them. Currently, people are time conscious, and many will rely on technology rather than on traditional gatekeepers. Similarly, technology makes the public view traditional gate-keeping as outdated and a waste of time, leave alone false.
- b) In 2011, the HSAS was replaced by the NTAS. Explain the reasons for the change. Do you agree that the new system is a more efficient warning tool? Please cite examples that support your opinion.
Some reasons propelled the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to replace the color-coded alerts of Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) with the current National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). One of the reasons is that HSAS did not effectively communicate information on terrorist threats. HSAS was also unable in providing timely information, and where it tried, the information was not detailed to help the American public. Therefore, there was a need to launch NTAS, which would feature an advisory system consisting of two alert types namely Elevated and Imminent. The Elevated Alert was intended to give warning of a credible terrorist threat facing the United States as well as its territories that are general in timing as well as the potential location in that it would be reasonable to recommend the implementing of protective initiatives to thwart and mitigate against the attack. On the other hand, the Imminent Alert was to warn of any credible, specific as well as impending terror threat or ongoing attack. There was also need for DHS continuously to evaluate all threat intelligence streams in an elaborate and reliable system. As a way of determining the way the DHS could effectively and quickly communicate information to citizens as well as other partners on threats to the homeland in an evolving threat world, the establishment of NTAS was inevitable. From a personal view, the new system is a more useful warning tool to the threats facing the United States. The reason is that the update to the NTAS announced allows people to attain better the goal of ensuring that the American people across the country currently have the information they need to keep themselves as well as the communities secure (Bullock, Haddow, & Coppola, 2013). It is also a more efficient warning system from the fact that it is not in response to specific, credible threat facing homeland, but rather a prudent initiative to promise Americansa better preparedness and awareness of the terrorist threat dynamics. NTAS is also a comprehensive effort from the fact that it recognizes that all Americans share responsibility when it comes to nation’s security. In this respect, NTAS provides awareness of the heightened terror attack risk in the United States as well as what people have to do. For instance, through the NTAS, the DHS as well as the FBI has continued to give guidance to states as well as local partners on the enhanced security measures. NTAS has also enabled the public to be observant on increased law enforcement as well as security presence in communities, public places and even at events. This has also become evident in restrictions as well as searches, more K-9 teams, and screening technologies use.
Bullock, J. A., Haddow, G. D., & Coppola, D. P. (2013): Homeland Security: The Essentials. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann.