Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Joseph Nyanoti


Graduate School of Media and Communications


Gatekeeping is a crucial process in journalistic content production and especially news. This is because the information collected from various sources must be subjected to journalistic practices such as verification to establish authenticity before dissemination to audiences. The growing popularity of online media content and the desire to attract more followers means news content creators on YouTube could be conflicted on the key reason they are producing content for the platform. The study aimed to establish the gatekeeping process employed by Kenyan news content creators producing content on YouTube and whether decisions are in the public’s interest or lack thereof. This study was prompted by the emergence and proliferation of celebrity content producers, some of whom are associated with legacy media and the attendant brand association. They produce content for YouTube in an era of click baits to attract traction and advertisers. The study’s objectives were to examine the sourcing strategies employed by news content creators on YouTube, establish the extent to which the gatekeeping processes by YouTube news content creators guarantee editorial independence and public interest journalism and find out gatekeeping challenges YouTube journalists face in their public interest undertaking. The gatekeeping and networked gatekeeping theories were used for this study to explain the process of selecting news content. A qualitative approach was adopted anchored on exploratory research design. Eight content creators based in Nairobi, who produce news content on YouTube, participated in the study and were selected using a purposive sampling technique. Data collected was analysed thematically. The study established just like in mainstream media, gatekeeping applies in YouTube news content creation and distribution. However, the study also established that even though YouTube news content producers produce public interest content, their gatekeeping processes are not as rigorous as in mainstream media. The study recommends more research into other journalistic practices by Kenyan news content creators on YouTube.