Pattern of the News Media Consumption and News Discussion Among Youth: a Test of Agenda Setting Theory

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PATTERN OF THE NEWS MEDIA CONSUMPTION AND NEWS DISCUSSION AMONG YOUTH: A TEST OF AGENDA SETTING THEORY

SAODAH WOK (wsaodah@iiu.edu.my; 016-6524383);

EZHAR TAMAM (ezhar@fbmk.upm.edu.my; 0192271481);

SUCI ELSA MARIA (sucielsamaria@yahoo.com; 0149306803)

Paper Prepared for:

International Communication and Media Conference (ICOME’10)

Communication and Society: Challenges and Engagement

18-20 June 2010

Organized by:

Faculty of Communication and Modern Languages

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)

PATTERN OF THE NEWS MEDIA CONSUMPTION AND NEWS DISCUSSION AMONG YOUTH: A TEST OF AGENDA SETTING THEORY

Saodah Wok1, Ezhar Tamam2, Suci Elsa Maria3

Abstract

There have been many studies in the media consumption habits among youth. Previous studies reported that youth preferred news on online media compared to other news media. This study tries to explore the pattern of news media consumption and interpersonal news discussions. The specific objectives of the study are (1) to determine the level of perceived news media credibility, (2) to find out the level of news media consumption, (3) to find out the extent of interpersonal news discussions, (4) to analyze the relationship between perceived media credibility and news media consumption with interpersonal news discussions, and (5) to differentiate between selected demographic characteristic with news media consumption and interpersonal news discussions. The study made use of survey research design method. The data were collected using a set of self-administered questionnaire. A sample of 1363 was randomly selected using stratified random sample. Malaysian youth aged 15-25 years old were gathered for the study. The data were analyzed using SPSS WIN 16.0. Descriptive and Inferential statistics were used for the study.

Keyword: news media consumption, news discussion, media credibility, agenda setting theory, youth.

[?]Saodah Wok, Associate Professor at Department of Communication, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). E-mail: wsaodah@iiu.edu.my 2Ezhar Tamam, Associate Professor at Faculty of Modern Language and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). E-mail: ezhar@fbmk.upm.edu.my 3Suci Elsa Maria, Master Student at Department of Communication, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). E-mail: sucielsamaria@yahoo.com

INTRODUCTION

Most research pertaining to agenda setting tests the reception of the audience on salient news presented by the media. Both content analysis and complementary survey on the news content most received were analyzed. Very few researches touch on the outcome of the news, that is, discussions between audience with their family members and with their friends; youth is no exception to this issue. As such, it is pertinent that a study beyond the coverage and the reception is explored. Therefore, this study tries to explore the pattern of news media consumption and interpersonal news discussions.

The specific objectives of the study are (1) to determine the level of perceived news media credibility, (2) to find out the level of news media consumption, (3) to find out the extent of interpersonal news discussions, (4) to analyze the relationship between perceived media credibility and news media consumption with interpersonal news discussions, and (5) to differentiate between selected demographic characteristic with news media consumption and interpersonal news discussions.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Agenda Setting Theory

The principal outlines of Agenda Setting Theory were sketched by Walter Lippmann (1922), who argued that the public responds not to actual events in the environment but to the images of events created by media or to “the pictures in our heads.” The agenda setting scholars look at how the media could shape not the attitude about the issues, but the perceptions about what issues are important. Cohen (1963) stated that the mass media may not be successful much of telling...
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