Setting the Agenda for Cross-National Research: Bring Values Into the Concepts
The concept of media agenda-setting has moved media effects scholarship away from the “limited effects” model that emerged from studies of voting behavior in the United States in the early post-World War II period. Agenda setting provides a perspective on the role of the news media in the political process as influential in a variety of ways. The strength of the agenda-setting hypothesis is that it has been supported by evidence from more than 20 years of studies drawing on a range of methodological approaches (see McCombs, 1992; McCombs & Shaw, 1993). Support for media agenda-setting effects on public opinion has been found using different research designs (cross-sectional surveys, panel studies, and experimental studies), in many countries, during and outside of election campaigns. The fact that a range of methodological approaches point to the same theoretical conclusion further strengthens the validity of the concept (see Hovland, 1959).