Agenda Setting Theory Personal Application

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Submitted By twinej1
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Jshon Twine
Com 205
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Personal Application
Agenda Setting Theory

On your way to class in the morning you over hear a group of people talking about some eventful news that has taken place over the last couple weeks following the recent presidential election. The group seems to have strong views towards the particular subject so this draws you in to the conversation. After being briefed on what the topic of discussion is you also begin to voice your opinion on the subject because you also feel as if it is an important topic. You later find out that this was headline news in the newspaper and will continue coverage throughout the week on the particular story. This emphasized importance of the story can be explained by what is known as agenda-setting theory a theory created by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw. Much of our media has had the same effect on our society.
A particular story receives large amounts of coverage or is simply elaborated to a point where the importance of the story seems increased compared to others. This in turn shapes the public’s opinion and reflects what is presented by the news providing “not what to think…but what to think about”(Cohen 1963 as cited in M. Dainton and E. Zelley). This paper will give the basic overview; listing assumptions and concepts, of the theory along with recent additions. It will also provide personal and actual examples of where the theory has applied.
Agenda-Setting theory, in its original state, contains two main assumptions and a concept that explain how exactly the media gatekeepers decides on what the important news is. First, in this theory McCombs and Shaw state, that the media has an agenda that is somewhat limited. McCombs and Shaw argue that the agenda that is set for the public by media tell the audience what news to perceive as important. This part of the theory has received additional…...

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