ERIC Number: ED192302
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of Agenda Setting in the United States by the Mass Media and Political Parties.
Smith, Hampden H., III
A review of research on the roles played by the mass media and the political parties during the agenda-setting stage of political activity in the United States indicates that the mass media have assumed some of the informing and issue-initiating functions generally understood to be performed by political parties. It seems desirable to develop an empirically based theoretical model based on an acknowledgement that political parties play a minimal role in informing the public and establishing the issue debate and on a recognition of the substantial role of the media in those areas. Such a model would be based on an understanding that (1) the parties provide a mechanism for determining who the governmental actors will be, and the party label provides an affective cue for the 10% of the public considered political "actives" and for voters; (2) the issue-initiating and informing functions operate largely outside the partisan machinery; (3) political actives use a number of institutions (the mass media being a primary one) to initiate and carry on debate; (4) the mass media provide information that can be used by political actives; (5) candidates and governmental officials seek to disseminate their positions through the media; and (6) information about governmental activity is provided to the public largely by the news media. (Author/GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Agenda Setting; Political Parties
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (63rd, Boston, MA, August 9-13, 1980).