McCombs and Shaw’s Agenda Setting Theory states that media has the most powerful influence in what issues are important. This November all U.S. House of Representatives seats and a third of the Senate seats will be up for reelection. Based upon Agenda Setting Theory and the current hostile political climate, those running for election should pay attention to the theory and begin to act upon it, starting with the following major social issues.
If you pay any attention to any media form you would know that #metoo is taking the country (and world) by storm. #Metoo rapidly became a trending topic on social media and widely discussed through both social and traditional media outlets as a response to our country’s sexual harassment problem. #Metoo has become a multi-industry issue as more and more men are called out on their harassment. Despite being talked about in politics (as you can see by the below tweet), but has not gained much traction as a governmental issue.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 20, 2017
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. We still do not know the extent of the damage caused by the storm. What we do know is that many Puerto Ricans are still without electricity and that they went an extended period of time without access to food and water. Puerto Rico still needs our help and the government seems to be content to ignore that need for the time being. That doesn’t stop people, and the media, from demanding more.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 6, 2018
With the midterm elections approaching, politicians would be wise to pay attention to the Agenda Setting Theory and to the issues that the people are finding to be important via the media. These are the issues that we are exposed to and are thus passionate about, and we expect our government to feel the same way.