Economic Headline News on the Agenda: New Approaches to Understanding Causes and Effects
More than two decades of agenda-setting research have established our belief in the capacity of mass media news coverage to set the public agenda. Arguably, there is no other news topic where this effect has such potentially far-reaching consequences as economic news. Many have charged the media with portraying economic issues unfairly and excessively negatively in the newsroom pursuit of the vivid and the newsworthy, and foretold economic and political fallout as a result. From undermining consumer sentiment and delaying an anticipated economic upturn to losing a president his reelection, the potential consequences of agenda setting are now seen by many to extend well beyond issue salience, the original dependent variable of early agenda-setting research.