Topics: News media, Media studies, Mass media Pages: 8 (2443 words) Published: January 17, 2014
this is a well theory by mcombs{{cite journal|last=McCombs|first=M|author2=Shaw, D|title=The agenda-setting function of mass media|journal=Public Opinion Quarterly|year=1972|volume=36|issue=2}}By comparing the salience of issues in news content with the public's perceptions of the most important election issue, McCombs and Shaw were able to determine the degree to which the media determines public opinion. Since the 1968 study, published in a 1972 edition of ''[[Public Opinion Quarterly]]'', more than 400 studies have been published on the agenda-setting function of the mass media, and the theory continues to be regarded as relevant.{{cite journal|last=McCombs|first=M|title=A look at agenda-setting: Past, present and future.|journal=Journalism Studies|year=2005|volume=6|issue=4}}

== History ==
The theory of agenda-setting can be traced to the first chapter of [[Walter Lippmann]]’s 1922 classic, ''[[Public Opinion (book)|Public Opinion]]''.{{cite book|last=Lippmann|first=W|title=Public opinion|year=1922|publisher=Harcourt|location=New York}} In that chapter, "[ The World Outside The Pictures In Our Heads,]" Lippmann argues that the mass media are the principal connection between events in the world and the images in the minds of the public. Without using the term "agenda-setting," Walter Lippmann was writing about what we today would call "agenda-setting." Following Lippmann, in 1963, Bernard Cohen observed that the press "may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about. The world will look different to different people," Cohen continues, "depending on the map that is drawn for them by writers, editors, and publishers of the paper they read." {{cite book|last=Cohen|first=B|title=The press and foreign policy|year=1963|publisher=Harcourt|location=New York}} As early as the 1960s, Cohen had expressed the idea that later led to formalization of agenda-setting theory by McCombs and Shaw.

Though Maxwell McCombs already had some interest in the field he was exposed to Cohen's work while serving as a faculty member at [[UCLA]], and it was Cohen’s work that heavily influenced him, and later Donald Shaw.{{cite journal|last=Rogers|first=E|title=The anatomy of agenda-setting research|journal=Journal of Communication|year=1993|volume=43|issue=2|pages=68–84}} The concept of agenda setting was launched by McCombs and Shaw during the 1968 presidential election in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They examined Lippmann’s idea of construction of the pictures in our heads by comparing the issues on the media agenda with key issues on the undecided voters’ agenda. They found evidence of agenda setting by identifying that salience of the news agenda is highly correlated to that of the voter’s agenda.

A relatively unknown scholar named G. Ray Funkhouser performed a study highly similar to McCombs and Shaw’s around exactly the same time the authors were formalizing the theory.{{cite journal|last=Funkhouser|first=G|title=The issues of the sixties: An exploratory study in the dynamics of public opinion|journal=Public Opinion Quarterly|year=1973|volume=37|issue=1|pages=62–75}} All three scholars - McCombs, Shaw, and Funkhouser - even presented their findings at the same academic conference. Funkhouser’s article was published later than McCombs and Shaw’s, and Funkhouser doesn’t receive as much credit as McCombs and Shaw for discovering agenda setting. According to Everett Rogers, there are two main reasons for this. First, Funkhouser didn’t formally name the theory. Second, Funkhouser didn’t pursue his research much past the initial article. Rogers also suggests that Funkhouser was geographically isolated at [[Stanford]], cut off from interested researchers, whereas McCombs and Shaw had got other people interested in agenda setting research.

==Core assumptions and statements==
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