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Mass Communication

Mediated communication between a


source and a large audience

Maxwell McCombs
Donald Shaw

AGENDA-SETTING THEORY
News media present audiences with an
agenda for what events the public
should consider as important

TWO ASSUMPTIONS
News media have an agenda
Audience members come to rely on news
media to point out topics of importance

PRIMARY CRITERIA
LENGTH

POSITION

TWO LEVELS OF AGENDA SETTING:


First level Media uses objects or issues to
influence people what to think about

Second level - Media focuses on what part of


the subject is important

Medias ability to
frame issues

Framing the news

Selection what stories are chosen?


Emphasis - what particular focus is taken?
Elaboration what is added to beef up the story?
Exclusion what stories are not covered?

WHO SETS THE AGENDA?

Creating public interest in political issues


and in chronic social issues
Need for orientation

Gatekeepers selectively determine an agenda for


whats news
News media influence their audiences to think
about selected issues in a certain light