Agenda Setting Essay

1419 words - 6 pages

McCombs and Shaw looked into how people received their media content, the context, length, and place. This is what they called media agenda. In news magazines they would search for an article that received the editors full attention by being placed in a full column. News television segments was important if lasted over 45 seconds or was in the top three items while broadcasting. The five major issues that were overall prominent in media are: foreign policy, law and order, fiscal policy, public welfare and civil rights. Chapel Hill voters, without a commitment to a candidate, was asked to outline a key issue from the campaign without taking consideration of what a candidate has said. When the data was compared, the ranks of these issues were almost identical. McCombs and Shaw believed that the media was main responsible for the correlation between the media and public ordering of priorities.

When agenda setting occurs through a cognitive process this is called “accessibility,” this implies that when news media covers a particular subject frequently and prominently this leads becomes the more focused issue in the audience’s memory. (Iyengar & Kinder, 1987). Take Fox News for example, people who tune in for daily news will be more conservative and only here one side of a top political or social event but if you turn the channel to MSNBC you will encounter the exact opposite.

The newspaper picked for this assignment is November 24th’s The Philadelphia Inquirer. The paper has multiple sections. The section used to complete the assignment will be the first section. The Sunday front page is split into two sections. The front half of the page mostly has pictures about sections within the actual paper showing off the Arts & Entertainment and Sports sections. The bottom half is dedicated to The Marcellus Shade and Convention Center. The article “Losing Steam?” is noticeable with a font in bold Arial letters and at least in 72-point sized characters with a question mark right behind it. The article is the most dominate on the page because of the length. It’s twenty-one lines before cutting of to the actual story. This story is wider and has two pictures within its section of the paper.

“Convention Center’s plight” is off to the right hand sign above an advertisement. While the other article has pictures; this one lacks pictures. The article’s width is roughly has the size of the other article and has totaling twenty lines versus the prior article’s twenty-one. The font of choice is Times New Roman and it’s slightly smaller than the other font and not as bold as the one before. At the end of both articles there is a page number that indicates where to read the rest of the story. “Losing Steam” article continues on page A16 while the other article continues on page A18.

The first few pages toward the front are graced by advertisements but main focused on articles are covered is Weather, Government, and World News. The article focused mainly about the...

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