chapter  5
16 Pages

Agenda Setting and Priming: Conceptual Links and Differences

Initially studied in the context of mass communication and voter behavior, media agenda setting (McCombs & Shaw, 1972) is based on the idea that the routine pattern of news coverage can structure and change audience cognition. Although the basic agenda-setting hypothesis has been widely supported, most communication researchers have failed to develop a comprehensive theory that would explain the underlying cognitive processes of exactly how development of issue priorities is influenced by the mass media. Instead, most research related to agenda setting has focused on associations between media content and response without much empirical or theoretical regard for the cognitive mechanisms involved (Kosicki, 1993).