6 pages/≈1650 words
Communications & Media
Agenda-Setting Theory (Essay Sample)
Topic: You will use agenda-setting theory to analyze the media coverage on the Watergate Scandal involving President Nixon. Make sure you discuss the topic by including the thesis statement (highlight in red, please) and use current reputable sources to analyze the essay thoroughly WITHOUT any type of plagiarism. Use ONLY books and academic articles as sources. Also make sure to write 6-FULL pages. Lastly, ALL APA references and citations must be correct and used properly. DO NOT end a paragraph with a citation. SUPPORT all claims (and with proper citations). I will attach a document for you to follow --- please skip to number 4 (Application essay) and follow everything under that to successfully complete this essay for a well graded paper. source..
Applying the Agenda-Setting Theory on the Watergate Scandal
In the first chapter of his 1922 classic, Public Opinion, “The World Outside the Pictures in Our Heads,” Walter Lippmann tells of a small island in 1914, inhabited by a sprinkling of different nationalities; Frenchmen, Englishmen, and Germans. There were no cables in the island, and for their news, the residents relied on a British mail steamer that visited once every two months. In September of that year, the steamer was yet to arrive with “new” news from the mainland. The locals were still talking about a story carried in the latest newspaper; the impending trial of Madame Caillaux after being charged of shooting Gaston Calmette. When the steamer finally docked in mid-September, the islanders were anxious to hear about the outcome of the trial. However, they were shocked to learn that while for six weeks they had lived together peacefully, concerned only about the outcome of the murder trial, Europe was at war; the German neighbors were no longer friends with the French and Britons. This anecdote demonstrates the function of the media in “setting the agenda” for public discussion. In the case of the islanders, the murder trial was the salient issue of public interest until news of the war arrived, effectively changing the agenda to war-related issues. In any country, the news items that people see in newspapers, watch on TV and hear on the radio are the basis of what they talk about. The Agenda-Setting Theory is based on this premise; that the media gives the public an “agenda” or topic to talk about through the daily content it publicizes as news. With reference to the Agenda-Setting Theory, this essay seeks to demonstrate that the media influences public opinion by presenting the audience with issues to think about. The paper argues that the media’s coverage of the Watergate Scandal shaped public perception of leadership qualities by presenting the integrity of political leaders as an issue of public interest.
The concept of agenda-setting has its roots in the work of Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion. Lippmann argues that the mass media connect events in the world with the mental images in the collective public mind (Lippmann, 2007). Thus, without using the phrase “agenda-setting,” Lippmann laid the ground for the theoretical conceptualization of the role of the media in influencing public opinion by “setting the agenda” of what people think and talk about in the public sphere. In 1968, researchers Drs. Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw carried out a study on that year’s presidential elections to find out the relationship between issues of public concern and their coverage by the media. The research, known as “The Chapel Hill Study,” focused on the correlation between election issues that voters considered to be of significant importance and the media’s coverage of those issues (McCo...
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