author={Maxwell E. McCombs and Donald L. Shaw},
  journal={Public Opinion Quarterly},
In choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news story and its position. In reflecting what candidates are saying during a campaign, the mass media may well determine the important issues—that is, the media may jet the "agenda" of the campaign. The authors are associate professors… 

Tables from this paper

A Test of Media-Centered Agenda Setting: Newspaper Content and Public Interests in a Presidential Election
The conventional wisdom in political communications research is that the media play a dominant role in defining the agenda of elections. In Bernard Cohen's words, the media do not tell us what to
Shaping and Cutting the Media Agenda
This monograph examines television reporters’ perceptions of how sources both within and outside the media attempt to influence news content and coverage decisions and to what degree they are
Does the Media Agenda Reflect the Candidates'Agenda?
This article examines whether the issue agendas of political candidates are reflected in the coverage of the news media. In their coverage of political issues during a campaign, do the media follow
Who’s the Boss? Setting the Agenda in a Fragmented Media Environment
Recent work on media choice calls into question the continued influence of traditional news media on the public agenda. We asked whether agenda setting persists either in its traditional form or an
Message or Messenger? Explaining Variation in the Success of Agenda-Setting
Agenda control matters in politics; yet scholars are only beginning to understand how campaigns and news media interact in shaping the agenda during campaigns. Drawing on extensive content data on
Agenda Setting, Media Effects on
Abstract Agenda setting explicates Walter Lippmann's thesis in Public Opinion that the news media are a major link between the world outside and the pictures in our heads. In the decades since the
Crusading Journalism: Changing Public Attitudes and Policy-Making Agendas
INVESTIGATIVE reporting is a costly and trendy enterprise used by publishers and broadcasters to build their audiences. Researchers studying mass media influence on the salience of issues before the
Media Matter The Political Influences of the News Media
Past research has shown that official actors have an advantage when it comes to accessing and framing political issues in the news media. This study examines the dynamics of official dominance and
The agenda-setting process in international news
A framework for applying agenda-setting theory in an international news context is pro- posed. First-level agenda-setting would suggest that the more news coverage a nation receives, the more that
The Freedom to Choose a Personal Agenda: Removing Our Reliance on the Media Agenda
Agenda setting states that media audiences determine the salience of issues based on the media coverage provided. During the past decade, audiences have been given a substantial amount of freedom in