Agenda Setting Theory

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Media is an ever-changing field that has an important influence on societies around the world. The media has made individuals aware of many the social problems throughout the world like poverty, drug use, crime, homelessness, racism, etc. While this may be a good tool to use, media can also affect individual’s beliefs, attitudes, tastes, politics, and way of life. In today’s contemporary society, the mass media serves as a powerful socializing agent. This is why I believe the agenda setting theory is the best model to explain the impact media has on society. The agenda setting theory is the ability of news and the media to “Direct peoples attention toward certain issues” (Croteau & Hoynes 237). It also looks at whether certain news issues …show more content…
This causes bias opinions and influence portrayed through different media outlets. In the past, multiple corporations owned parts of the national media. As the years passed, these corporations dropped off slowly. Now there are six corporations that control almost all the media in America. While there still are three kinds of ownership in media, public and semi public have taken a major backdrop to privately controlled media. These major corporations have taken control of many different media outlets and have captured the majority of the world audience. While accessing media is cheap, owning media is expensive. With such a competitive market, to get an ad or commercial can cost upwards to millions of dollars. This causes upper class elites to dominate and control what is projected over the media outlets to society. Many researchers believe that “Money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public. News content is influenced by the facts that (1) media corporations have a profit orientation, and their ownership is heavily concentrated; (2) the media depend on advertising as their primary income source; (3) the media rely on officially approved sources and experts; and (4) powerful players are able to deliver “flak” about media content of which they disapprove” (Croteau & Hoynes …show more content…
Research has been done to try and answer the question of how agenda setting influences human behavior and shapes individual’s social and political attitudes. Research done by Iyengar and Kinder (2010), did an experiment to understand the relationship between media coverage and the agenda of the audience. Participant’s viewed different videotapes of news broadcasts, the broadcasts were all the same with one exception. Researchers “Added stories to the tapes so that some participants saw pieces either on the environment, on national defense, or on inflation” (Croteau & Hoynes 237). Results concluded that participants were more likely to view the added story as more important than the others. Public opinion continues to say that media exerts tremendous power by molding and shaping social attitudes and public opinions. Agenda setting and socialization play important roles in influencing individual’s views and beliefs within the news they consume. These influences cause individuals to create meaning from their interactions. Theodore White, a political journalist wrote, “The power of the press in America is a primordial one. It sets the agenda of public discussion; and this sweeping political power is unrestrained by any law. It determines what people will talk about and think about---an authority that in other nations is reserved for tyrants, priests, parties, and

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