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Literature Review - Essay Example

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The theory describes the influence of the media on topics on the public spectrum. The theory implies that the public regards news items that are covered prominently and frequently as the most…
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Download file to see previous pages In the study, the theorists demonstrated the correlation between what residents in Chapel Hill, North Carolina considered as the most important election issue, and what the national and local news media reported as important (McCombs, Shaw & Weaver, 2013). Through the comparison of the salience issues in the news with the perceptions of the public, the researchers determined the extent to which media determines public opinion.
Walter Lippmann first published this theory in the Public Opinion. In this publication, Lippmann developed the connection between the mind of people and worldly events. Later in 1963, Bernard Cohen showed that though the media was not powerful in influencing people on how to think, it played a crucial role in providing the public with issues. This idea led to the development of the agenda setting theory by Shaw and McCombs (McCombs, Shaw & Weaver, 2013).
The agenda setting theory is based on two important assumptions. The first assumption is that the media and press do not reflect reality. The theory considers the two entities to shape and filter reality. The second assumption is that media concentration on subjects and issues leads the public to consider these issues as important (Dearing & Rogers, 1996). The most imperative aspect of the theory is the period of the agenda setting function of mass communication. It is vital to note that different media have different potentials to set the agenda.
The agenda setting theory is dependent on the cognitive abilities of audiences and users of mass media. This means that agenda setting takes place through a cognitive method called accessibility. The higher the frequencies of news outlets focus on an issue, the higher the probability of the issue to become accessible to audiences. When audiences and user of the news media are asked the most important issue or problem facing them, they are likely to answer according to their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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