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Priming

Priming is considered an extension of agenda setting, which refers to the impact news coverage has on audiences through the issues, topics, and people that media organizations choose to cover and emphasize. These choices can make the subjects of news articles appear important to audiences and as a result contribute toward setting the public agenda. Researchers also have claimed that mass media are powerful sources of images or ideas that can prime, or influence, our thoughts and actions. This entry further explains priming and discusses some research on priming.

Priming is considered to have a more powerful effect on audiences than agenda setting—especially with respect to political communication. It is the ability news coverage has to shape the criteria or standards by which political candidates or ...

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