Three kinds of agenda setting:. Focus of this talk is on who or what sets the news media agenda . Most studies so far focused on public agenda setting. Common to think that journalists set the news media agenda. Several studies question this assumption.
Focus of this talk is on who or what sets the news media agenda.
Most studies so far focused on public agenda setting.
Several studies question this assumption.
May be too simple to think of journalists as main agenda setters.
2. Other news media
3. Norms and traditions of journalism
Can measure president’s agenda in State of the Union address and compare it to the news media agenda.
Studies done for Presidents Nixon (1970), Carter (1978), Reagan (1982, 1985) and Clinton (1996).
Study from 1981-1996 suggests “issue ownership” explanation.
President is more likely to set media agenda for issues “owned” by his party, and follow the media agenda for other issues.
Sigal study found nearly half of Times and Post front page stories based on PR.
Reporting of AIDS based largely on information subsidies.
Louisiana study found news coverage based substantially on information provided by government public information officers.
City of Bloomington study found strong correlation between city council and media agendas.
Political ads try to control campaign and media agendas.
British-U.S. comparative study found significant differences in agenda setting.
Study of U.S. presidential election found media discretion in agenda setting.
Study of U.S. primary elections found only moderate correlations between candidates’ and TV news agendas, as did study of convention speeches and news coverage.
U.S. journalists not willing to let candidates dictate news agenda.
A Texas election study found influence of candidate advertising agenda on newspaper and TV news agendas.
“Pack journalism” a la Timothy Crouse, author of The Boys on the Bus.
Global warming study and intermedia agenda setting.
Iowa wire service study.
Spanish election study
German alternative press study (first and second level agenda setting)
Intermedia agenda setting produces a highly redundant news agenda within a single country or culture.
News agendas vary across cultures and countries, depending on norms of journalism and politics.
Journalists alone are not entirely responsible for news agendas.
Often a tendency to overestimate power of journalists to set news agendas.
Some prominent U.S. journalists more willing to do so, such as the late Katherine Graham and columnist David Broder of The Washington Post.
Evidence on media agenda setting suggests agendas are constructed as
Difficult to say whether prominent news sources or journalists have more influence in media agenda setting in general, at least in relatively free and open political systems.
Uncertainty increases fascination with studying media agenda setting in different cultures and countries, and during different time periods.
Recent debate in U.S. over whether web sites such as the Drudge Report are main news agenda setters.