chapter  1
12 Pages

International Perspectives on Agenda-Setting Theory Applied to Business News


For more than 40 years, the agenda-setting hypothesis-“While the news media may not be successful in telling the public what to think, they are quite successful in telling the public what to think about”—has been a cornerstone of political and mass communication research. The goal of this research has been to understand the news media’s role in shaping public opinion (McCombs, 2004; McCombs & Shaw, 1972). In an examination of major milestones within the fi eld of mass communication, Lowery and DeFleur (1995) noted that agendasetting theory “has now become a well-trodden path in the research territory of the communication scholar” (p. 787). Dearing and Rogers (1996) noted that by the mid-1990s the agenda-setting research program had produced 350 scholarly publications. Slightly before the 40th anniversary of this program of research, McCombs (2004) listed over 400 empirical investigations that had been published using agenda setting as the framework for mass media and public opinion.