chapter  Two
11 Pages

The Agenda-Setting Role of Mass Communication

ByMaxwell McCombs, Edna Einsiedel, David Weaver

Democratic theory assumes more than knowledge of and participation in government affairs by numerous citizens and groups. Democratic theory also assumes some agreement on what the most important issues of the day are. In fact, any system of government can deal with only a limited set of issues or problems in a given time period. 1 There must be not only a finite set of issues, but also a sense of the priority, or ranking, of these issues that defines an agenda to which governmental institutions can respond by authoritatively allocating resources.