Thursday, June 28th, 2012...8:00 am
The public policy agenda is set through political news not specific news media
Research summary: Agenda setting is one of the oldest theories in communication studies. It describes how the media affect which issues viewers find important. Seeing certain issues as more important than others can affect viewers’ voting choices. However, research shows that you are only likely to be affected by the media’s agenda setting abilities if you’re paying attention to political news; watching other types of news programs does not affect issue salience. Additionally, because news outlets have grown more similar, agenda setting effects are due to the collective coverage of media outlets, regardless of medium or channel. Agenda setting may be an old theory, but it’s still quite relevant.
Citation: Strömbäck, J., & Kiousis, S. (2010). A new look at agenda-setting effects—comparing the predictive power of overall political news consumption and specific news media consumption across different media channels and media types, Journal of Communication, 60(2), 271-292. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2010.01482.x