Agenda-setting theory

Topics: News media, Agenda-setting theory, Mass media Pages: 4 (1388 words) Published: March 5, 2014
The Vhong Navarro Overload: Media’s Saturation with the Case and the Agenda Setting Theory

This paper looks at the influence of the media on the importance the public place on social issues. It seeks to consider the way media prioritizes topics and how the concentration placed on a particular issue makes it appear more important to the public than other matters. Such mechanism can be viewed in the light of the Agenda-Setting Theory which will be elaborated later in this paper. Moreover, to understand it better, it will be examined through relating it with a more tangible example of its application that is the Vhong Navarro-Deniece Cornejo-Cedric Lee case which has just saturated the media in the latter days of January 2014 and has essentially left other issues of national importance fading in the background. First, we will look at how Agenda-setting theory operates and how it explains the media influence on how the public assign importance on phenomena. This theory by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw was summarized by Bernard Cohen (as cited in Cox, 2014) who said that the media has “…its ability to mentally order and organize our world for us. In short, the media may not be able to tell us what to think, but they are stunningly successful in telling us what to think about.” There are two basis assumptions which consist this theory. First, it posits that “…the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it. Second, it suggests that the “…media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues” (University of Twente, 2013). McCombs and Shaw (as cited in University of Twente, 2013) contends that this mechanism works in such a way that it not only shows us what to think about but also who and what to think about it and even what to do about it. This is done through two levels: (1) “the transfer of...

References: University of Twente. (2013). Agenda-setting Theory. Retrieved from
Cox, C. (2014, January 29). No News Is Good News? Agenda-setting Theory of McCombs & Shaw [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
Pineda, D. L. S. (2014, February 1). 5 Issues That Are More Important than the Vhong Navarro Case. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from
Philippine Daily Inquirer. (2014, February 2). In Vhong Navarro Overload, Who Read About Mindanao Peace Accord? Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from
Rappler Social Media Team. (2014, January 2014). The Vhong Navarro Social Media Assault. Retrieved from
8List. (2014, January 29). The Midweek L8est: 8 Things More Important than Vhong Navarro Getting Beat Up Edition. Retrieved from
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