February 13, 2011
Com-126 Communication and the Media
Professor Don Olsen
Agenda-Setting of Mass Media
When we look at the magnitude and the contributions the media has made to political campaigns, especially the recent presidential campaign we can see the agenda-setting function at work. We learn through the media the intent of the candidates while addressing the important issues of the campaign. The coverage through the media has shown the aim of the candidate and their platform. With focus on the most recent candidate from Chicago, Illinois, Senator Barack Obama ran his campaign on the combined platform of “Change” which includes other components that included but was not limited to the economy, health care, immigration, education, Terror and war, job and unemployment.
While exploring the agenda which was set by the media there are things which must be explained. According to an article by authors Maxwell E. McCombs and Donald L. Shaw (1977) “The impact of the media on the shaping the public’s perception of Social reality,” known as the agenda-setting function of mass media. In the media during the campaign of the political candidate it has been established that the media sets out to present all the negative aspects of the candidate and the campaign. The media will try and weaken the platform in which the candidate is building his/her campaign. The mass media is responsible for the way the public perceive the candidate, and once they have swayed their mind then the agenda function will be seen. There are issues which are highlighted by the media and by the candidate which are the substance of the campaign. These components weighed heavily on the way the public views the candidate and politically when the media set the agenda they are in control of every aspect of the presentation of the candidate. And the media will drain all truth and substance from this...