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Agenda-Setting Theory

Agenda-setting theory explains how news media influence the public’s attention and perceptions of certain objects or issues. Publics need to get information to know what is happening in the world, to understand the world, and to make decisions to better their lives. Due to the limitation of first-hand information from direct experience, people obtain much of their information from second-hand sources. News media are one of the major sources from which people can get the information they need. According to agenda-setting theory, when people use the information from news media to know and understand the world and to make decisions, news media will have influences on them. Agenda-setting theory explores these influences and argues that news media have the power to focus public attention on ...

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