Agenda Setting Theory
Mass communication plays an important role in society where its purpose to inform the public about current and even past events. Mass communication is defined as the process whereby professional communicators use technological devices to share messages over great distances to influence large audiences. According to Littlejohn & Foss (2005), mass communication is the process whereby media organizations produce and transmit messages to large publics and the process by which those messages are sought, used, understood, and influenced by audiences. Within this process the media, which can be a newspaper, a book and television, takes control of the information that can see or hear.
The media then uses gatekeeping and agenda setting to control public access to news, information, and entertainment. Gatekeeping is a series of checkpoints that the news has to go through before it gets to the public. Through this process many people have to decide whether or not the news is to be seen or heard. Some gatekeepers might include reporters, writers, and editors. After gatekeeping comes agenda setting. According to Dennis McQuail cited in Littlejohn & Foss (2005), media are windows that enable us to see beyond our immediate surroundings, interpreters that help us make sense of experience, platforms or carriers that convey information, interactive communication that includes audience feedback, signposts that provide us with instructions and directions, filter that screen out parts of experience and focus on other, mirrors that reflect ourselves back to us, and barriers that block the truth.
Agenda setting as defined is the process whereby the mass media determine what public think and worry about. Agenda setting started when Walter Lippmann, a journalist first observed this function and write Public Opinion in 1922. Lippmann titled his first chapter as “The World Outside and the Pictures in Our Heads”.... [continues]
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