The Public and the National Agenda: How People Learn About Important Issues, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Public and the National Agenda

How People Learn About Important Issues, 1st Edition

By Wayne Wanta


136 pages

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Paperback: 9780805824612
pub: 1997-06-01
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Hardback: 9780805824605
pub: 1997-06-01
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Focusing on the agenda-setting function of the news media from an information processing standpoint, this volume examines how individuals expose themselves to news media content and how this content translates into issue salience. It utilizes the individual as the unit of measurement. Many agenda-setting studies have used the issue, rather than the individual, as the unit of measurement. By employing an "agenda-setting susceptibility" index, the book details how individuals who actively process information in the news media are most susceptible to agenda-setting effects. Merging agenda-setting with research in information processing and uses and gratifications, it proposes and tests a causal model of media agenda-setting influences by examining demographics, psychological factors, and behavioral variables of individuals.


"…a useful perspective for journalism students, journalism educators, and media practitioners, all of whom need to understand agenda setting. The good job of backgrounding the author does will help them understand….an extremely important addition to the literature of agenda setting."

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Theoretical Underpinnings of the Agenda-Setting Process. The Agenda-Setting Susceptibility Measure. Effects of Demographic and Psychological Variables on Agenda Setting. Effects of Behavioral Variables on Agenda Setting. Putting It All Together: How the Agenda-Setting Process Works. Effects of Different Media on Agenda Setting. The Role of Nonmedia Sources in the Agenda-Setting Process. Expanding the Agenda-Setting Hypothesis. Social Learning in the Agenda-Setting Process. References.

About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies