Agenda setting theory
Student Number: 123140069
In 2008, there are two biggest events in China. One is 2008 Chinese Milk scandal, which is a food safety incident in China, involving milk and infant formula, and other materials and components, adulterated with melamine. By November 2008, China reported an estimated 300,000 victims, with six infants dying from kidney stones and other kidney damage. It’s one of biggest scandal in China. But just over a month, the most of Chinese people didn’t discuss it keenly for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Why the biggest scandal attracting attention of people in short term . Let’s explore it. Mass Communication plays an important role in our society its purpose is to inform the public about current and past events. Mass communication is defined in “ Mass Media, Mass Culture” as the process whereby professional communicators use technological devices to share messages over great distances to influence large audiences. Within this process the media, which can be a newspaper, a book and television, takes control of the information we see or hear. The media then uses gatekeeping and agenda setting to “control our access to news, information, and entertainment”. (Wilson 14) 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 bee seen or heard. Some gatekeepers might include reporters, writers, and editors. After gatekeeping comes agenda setting. Agenda Setting as defined in “ Mass Media, Mass Culture” is the process whereby the mass media determine what we think and worry about. And it has two basic assumptions underlie most research on agenda setting. One is that the press and the media do not reflect reality and they filter and shape it. The other one is that media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues. Agenda Setting has two levels. As mentioned in Theories of Communication, the first level enacts the common subjects that are most important, and the second level decides what parts of the subject are important. These two levels of agenda setting lead path into what is the function of this concept. This concept is process that is divided into three parts according to Rogers and Dearing in their book Agenda Setting Research. The first part of the process is the importance of the issues that are going to be discussed in the media. Second, the issues discussed in the media have an impact over the way the public thinks, this is referred as public agenda. Ultimately the public agenda influences the policy agenda. Furthermore “ the media agenda affects the public agenda, and the public agenda affects the policy agenda.” (Littlejohn, 320) Wu, H. Denis and Coleman, Renita delve deeper in first level and second level in agenda theory for a long term. Now let’s use agenda setting theory to analyze the question that “Why the biggest scandal attracting attention of people in short term”. Because of need of politics in China, China government wants to transfer attention of people to the other things. Media was a important role in this action. Taken for granted, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games which hold in a month later is the best thing to cover the milk scandal. For the agenda, Beijing Olympics games is a grant ceremony in China for its specificity. Because of Olympics Game mainly held in the capital city, so geography accessibility is weak than milk scandal. But that it doesn’t matter, because China government have used a lots of energy from 2004 to let people feeling Olympics Games is huge honor of every Chinese people. It become a belief in Chinese people, so it
make up a weakness of geography accessibility. What’s more, every kind of media used a lot of editions to report the things of Olympics games, including entertainment news of sportsman, knowledge of sport and so on....
Cited: Littlejohn, Stephen W. Theories of Human Communication. Seventh Edition. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Wadsworth, 2002.
McCombs, Maxwell E, and Donald L. Shaw. The Emergence of American Political Issues. New York. West Publishing Co, 1977.
Wilson,James R., and Roy S.Wilson. Mass Media, Mass Culture, Fifth Edition.Boston.Mc Graw Hill, 2001.
Chernov, G., and Valenzuela, S., and McCombs, M. AN EXPERIMENTAL COMPARISON OF TWO PERSPECTIVES ON THE CONCEPT OF NEED FOR ORIENTATION IN AGENDA-SETTING THEORY. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Spring2011, Vol. 88 Issue 1, p142-155. 14p.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document