What is the major social problem in the news today? Who made it so important? Social issues that are widely recognized on the media agenda often demand attention on the public agenda, and in turn move quickly up the policy agenda, creating policy changes. Based on research of contemporary social issues that have hit the headlines - including the war on drugs, drink-driving, the Exxon Valdez oil spillage, AIDS and the Ethiopian famine - this book provides important theoretical and practical insights into the agenda-setting process and its role in effecting social change.

Public Agenda Studies: The Hierarchy Approach

Public agenda studies: The hierarchy approach

Apparently the average person takes the media's word for what the [issues] are, whether or not he personally has any involvement or interest in them.

G. Ray Funkhouser (1973b, p. 538)

To say that they set the agenda is to claim both too much and too little for the media of mass communication.

Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang (1981, p. 465)

The public agenda is the public's hierarchy of issues at a certain point in time. Two types of agenda-setting research have been conducted on the public agenda: (a) hierarchy studies, in which all of the main issues on the public agenda at a certain point in time are investigated, and (b) longitudinal studies, in which an agenda-setting ...

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