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The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media

by Maxwell E. McCombs, Donald L. Shaw
Public Opinion Quarterly ()
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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 re- flecting what candidates are saying during a campaign, the mass media may well determine the important issues—that is, the media may jet the "agenda" of the campaign.

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