Opinion Leadership

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  • The act of an individual explaining the content of media messages to others who are accepting of this opinion. The opinion leader has access to the media and is thus more knowledge able about its contents than those who do not. Opinion leadership emphasizes agency and personal influence in the filtering and interpreting of information relayed in media messages. This notion was proposed in the 1948 work of the sociologists Paul Lazarsfeld and Elihu Katz, The People's Choice, as a part of their two-step flow-of-communication model. They offered that an opinion leader is knowledgeable and highly regarded for his information on particular topics but not necessarily in other areas. Moreover, opinion leaders exist on many structural levels (social, economic, and political) and hold positions of ...

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