Setting the AgendaThe News Media and Public Opinion
Setting the Agenda
The News Media and Public Opinion, 3rd Edition

News media strongly influence how we picture public affairs across the world, playing a significant and sometimes controversial role in determining which topics are at the centre of public attention and action. <i>Setting the Agenda</i>, first published in 2004, has become the go-to textbook on this crucial topic.

In this timely third edition, Maxwell McCombs – a pioneer of agenda-setting research – and Sebastián Valenzuela – a senior scholar of agenda setting in Latin America – have expanded and updated the book for a new generation of students. In describing the media's influence on what we think about and how we think about it, <i>Setting the Agenda</i> also examines the sources of media agendas, the psychological explanation for their impact on the public agenda, and their consequences for attitudes, opinions and behaviours. New to this edition is a discussion of agenda setting in the widened media landscape, including a full chapter on network agenda setting and a lengthened presentation on agenda melding. The book also contains expanded material on social media and the role of agenda setting beyond the realm of public affairs, as well as a foreword from Donald L. Shaw and David H. Weaver, the co-founders of agenda-setting theory.

This exciting new edition is an invaluable source for students of media, communications and politics, as well as those interested in the role of news in shaping and directing public opinion.
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  • January 2021
  • 248 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509535798
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509535804
  • Open eBook $20.00
  • 9781509535811
About the Author
Maxwell McCombs is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin.
Sebastián Valenzuela is Associate Professor in the School of Communications at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Associate Researcher at the Millennium Institute for Foundational Research on Data (IMFD).
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"Agenda setting remains the core theoretical foundation of political communication research. McCombs and Valenzuela’s new edition of Setting the Agenda should be considered a canonical text for the field. All students of political communication need to consume this valuable and approachable overview of the theory’s central tenets."
R. Lance Holbert, Temple University

"To explore and understand how traditional and new media influence the public opinion process, theory-driven approaches are greatly needed. Agenda-setting theory, as McCombs and Valenzuela’s book demonstrates, has been and still is an excellent guide for scholars pursuing this problem."
Toshio Takeshita, Meiji University

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