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.
Chapter 4: Public Agenda Studies: Longitudinal Approaches
Public Agenda Studies: Longitudinal Approaches
Agenda-setting has not fully matured into a theory of media effects, yet this is part of its vitality. Agenda-setting is still on the path of inquiry and discovery. It has just arrived at the point where researchers are attempting to describe its natural history.
At the beginning of Chapter 3, we distinguished between hierarchy studies of (usually) six to eight issues versus longitudinal investigations of one or two issues in studies of public agenda-setting. Here we deal with longitudinal approaches to the study of the agenda-setting process that have become popular in very recent years. Longitudinal research, in which data from more than one point in time are collected, is well suited to ...