Agenda-Setting

Now is as good a time as any to explain what this term is. Since I am looking at how the Irish media reacted to the 1987 and 2009 Budgets in terms of framing, I’ll probably be using such terms throughout this blog, so a brief summary is in order. Agenda-setting and framing are very similar, and indeed, related theories. Of course I initially had confused them, and used the terms interchangeably but in reality, they are separate.

Agenda-setting came before framing did and has different roots. In short, agenda-setting is about how the media prioritize certain stories and screen out others. These stories are organised in terms of salience, which roughly means order of importance, but it goes beyond that. It has to be identifiable with the audience watching or reading the stories, as well as fitting the “agenda” of whoever is organising the stories. This also means that the editor or media “gatekeeper” is central to what is being broadcast. It’s not an easy theory to prove, because obviously, not being an editor, I don’t have access to this sort of information, and journalists and media communicators in general seem to find problems wit this theory. Of course it doesn’t apply to them! Regardless, there is a lot of academic information on this theory, and it is an interesting way or studying how the media works.

Song of the day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOh4B7zPx70

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