Blogpost1: Social Media’s Strength and Weakness at Agenda-setting

In the current media environment where social media has kept growing its proportion in the sum of people’s attention, the classic Agenda-Setting Theory lose its ground with a critical flaw in its premise. To interact with public positively as a responsible opinion-influence seeker in the circumstance, politicians should be aware of two points: social media’s […]

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How Politicians can Win Like The Migos

It’s 2018 and not many people are winning like the Migos. .@Migos' "Culture II" debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart — billboard hip-hop (@billboardhiphop) February 5, 2018 Quavo, Takeoff and Offset have been seriously killing the game (experiencing huge success for those who don’t know the vernacular) and, while […]

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Catch-11 on Twitter for successful politicians

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Social media is a kind of special form of mass communication with the features of interpersonal communication. If you want to be a successful politician using Twitter, you need to learn some new strategies for telling your readers “what to think about” (McCombs & Shaw, 1972).

1.Twitter frequently, even though there is nothing important to twitter. You are the one that readers should always think about. Use all methods to increase your followers.

2.Use clear and concise tags to post new issues so that your readers can think about and talk about them conveniently.

3.Set new agendas to make readers forget previous detrimental agendas and to remind them of previous beneficial agendas for you.

4.Twitter issues which are more related to your successful experience and to your opponent’s unsuccessful experience.

5.In politics, lies might not become truth, but repeating lies can make readers think about your angle of thinking and doubt about truth.

6.Express your explicit attitude toward public events as existing agendas immediately after it happens. If you don’t express immediately, your opponent’s voice will be heard by your readers.

7.Utilize social hot events as opportunities of setting agendas that connect readers’ personal life with your political assertion.

8.Give readers the most available information, the easiest cases, and the clearest causal explanation for agendas.

9.Show a personalized, not a distant image which can persuade readers to talk with you about agendas. Use simple, emotional and even biased words appropriately to make readers feel they are smart, ethical and rational.

10. Use personalized and clear words for expressing your attitude about agendas because readers need a clear target to discuss.

11.Stress “key words” which can help readers remember your agendas. The key words should echo your policy assertion and your personal image.
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Social Networking Can Eliminate the Gap Between Leaders and Supporters

Information spreads faster than wildfire these days. Thanks to the rising popularity of social media. However, politicians in Bangladesh are not utilizing the social media for organizing their supporters and promoting their agendas. As per  Maxwell E. McCombs and Donald L. Shaw,  news treatment in mass media can determine the main agendas of a political […]

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Is Agenda-setting a Magic Bullet?

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“…the mass media set the agenda for each political campaign, influencing the salience of attitudes toward the political issues.”
McCombs & Shaw, 1972

According to a research conducted by McCombs and Shaw (1972), media emphasis on different campaign issues tended to affect voters’ judgment of the salience of various campaign issues, which manifested agenda-setting function of news media.

Agenda setting refers to media practice that distinguishes between major issues and minor issues by distributes its resources (e.g. the amount of imformation, staff, headlines) differently to various events and topics. The selection and arrangement is based on certain news value criteria, which derive from daily practice and the knowledge of audiences’ appetite.

Daily briefing is a common form of agenda setting practice in news media. Here is an example from CNN’s official Twitter account:

CNN listed 5 events that their editors believed were of the greatest importance. Political activities (and other events related to elite persons), international (sport) events and natural disasters (and other negative news) are commonly acknowledged as newsworthy. Although in some cases news media is severely biased, they have basic consensus on news value. (McCombs & Shaw, 1972)

Another example is from @Reuters:

Despite the news events, this news agency also attached importance to information and story about their sponsor brand, Amazon, which indicates that agenda setting process does not merely depend on news value.

However, McCombs and Shaw’s study (1972) also proved that audiences had composite understanding about media contents. That is to say, agenda-setting practice has limited influence on audiences. It reminds politicians who utilize the agenda-setting function of the significance of monitoring and analyzing audiences’ media use, as knowledge about their real preference helps seize potential supporters.



McCombs, M., & Shaw, D. (1972). The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media. Public Opinion Quarterly, 36(2), 176.    Send article as PDF   
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Set Your Own Agenda

The media has an impact on people’s understanding of society. In Agenda-setting theory, the mass media can influence people’s attention to events through the information the mass media provide and the topics they organize (University of Twente, 2018). Of course, more and more clever audiences will not be completely dominated by the mass media. The […]

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