Gatekeeping for Survival: Evidence from Online News Portals in Ghana

Caroline Aboagye Da-Costa, Eric Opoku-Mensah, Daniel Machator


Media competitiveness and survival remain a huge responsibility in the digital era which is dictated by technological advancement, with its attendant content creators who publish what they deem as newsworthy. One approach to survival as identified in strategic media management literature is branding, which is portrayed by drawing a balance between journalistic and commercial orientations. Using the Media, Brands, Actors and Communication (MBAC) model and semi-structured interviews with online news editors, social media managers and social media curators of three solely online digital media brands in Ghana, this paper argues that the branding strategy and orientation of solely online news media portals in Ghana is more of commercial than journalistic as perceived in their type of gatekeeping. This is attributed to the need to remain competitive, sustain their small businesses and to survive. The study concludes that to remain relevant and sustainable, solely online news portals need to consider mergers as an option.

Keywords: brand identity; branding strategy; gatekeeping; Ghana; online news portals; survival

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/99-02

Publication date:October 31st 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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