chapter  Five
7 Pages

Shaping the News Agenda

ByMaxwell McCombs, Edna Einsiedel, David Weaver

Drug abuse catapulted to the top of the news agenda during 1986. There were front-page stories in major newspapers, a news magazine cover story, and television specials. Public opinion polls reflected heightened public concern about drugs, and the politicians responded quickly. In just a matter of weeks, Congress wrote and passed anti-drug legislation backed by $1.7 billion in funding.