The agenda-setting function of mass media

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Abstract

In choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news story and its position. In reflecting what candidates are saying during a campaign, the mass media may well determine the important issues—that is, the media may set the “agenda” of the campaign.


McCombs, M. E., & Shaw, D. L. (1972). The agenda-setting function of mass media. Public opinion quarterly, 36(2), 176-187.

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