Agenda-Setting in Media

  The agenda-setting concept started by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw during the 1968 presidential election in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where they examined Lippmann’s idea of structure of the pictures in our heads by comparing the rank-order issues on the media agenda with the key issues of the day on the undecided voters’ agenda. They found the evidence of agenda setting that salience of the news agenda is highly connected to the voter’s agenda. I have personally seen this “theory” actually play out in real life from two large Middle East news station. I noticed; the stories that provide from those two stations are different. I was spending an hour switching back and forth from Alarabiya News to Aljazeera. For example, Alarabiya will usually have a top story dealing with a political or social event in Egypt that tends to lean-to a more conservative angle in a positive way. Flip over to Aljazeera though and it tends to be the exact opposite that Aljazeera usually holding the stories that show a more Liberal point of view. As the “Agenda-Setting Theory” would suggest, it’s not so much that these networks are telling us what is right from wrong or what us should think or believe, it’s more of the stories that they choose to air and the way they are portrayed that tend to create the appearance of being bias. I think, it is time for media to take action on their agenda setting because today or maybe next year it will become a public agenda.


Uses and Gratification


The Uses and Gratifications theory discusses the ways in which individuals utilize various sources of media; for example video games, movies, music, television, and etc; to meet their needs. It recognizes that the audience are active and they use media for many different reasons. These reasons include earning knowledge, social connection, and emotional gratification.
With this video, some individuals who are addicted to the games, talk about the reasons behind the use of this particular type of media. They can connect with peers, they escape to the world of the game, and some even experience feeling good and entertain on playing video games. However, they also acknowledge that they choose to engage in the addictive behaviour when they play not because of the content of the game, but because of the feeling they get from playing it. This typify the hypothesis that the audience are active. Although they acknowledge that they continue playing because video games obtain their needs.

Who Influenced Whom? Two-Step Flow Theory

The Two-Step of Flow theory has made an impression on the world of mass media. A 1944 study focused on the process of decision-making during a Presidential election campaign. Elihu Katz and Paul F Lazarsfeld in their book Personal Influence: The Part Played By People In The Flow Of Mass Communication expected to find practical support for the direct influence of media messages on voting. They were surprised to discover that personal contacts were mentioned far more frequently than exposure to the radio or a newspaper as sources of influence on voting behaviour. With this data, Katz and Lazarsfeld developed the Two-Step Flow Theory of Mass Communication.The theory suggests that the information provided by media texts does not flow directly from the text into the minds of its audience. Rather, it is filtered through opinion leaders and is then communicated to the public via the media.

The Two-Step Flow Theory suggests that information does not flow from the media text straight to the audience but rather, within that cycle, other people tend to have perspectives that affect the audience. Certain people have considerbal influence over how people gain opinions about specific media texts, such as which films people decide to watch as opposed to the actual film giving them a related opinion. For example, if someone was talking about the Batman films and said that they were amazing, others might also watch the films and have the same opinion. In this case, a Two- Step Flow that associated with the theory has affected the viewers.

To conclude, the Tow-Step Theory  has improved our understanding of how the mass media is associated with decision-making. The theory refined the ability to predict the influence of media messages on audience behavior.