Society of African Journal Editors

International Journal of Communication: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication Studies

Who’s the Boss? Setting the Agenda in a Fragmented Media Environment

Authors: Kathleen Searles, Glen Smith

Journal: International Journal of Communication: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication Studies

Recent work on media choice calls into question the continued influence of traditional news media on the public agenda. We asked whether agenda setting persists either in its traditional form or an alternative form. Coverage of the 2008 American economic collapse provides a unique case as it offers a rare moment of uniform media attention across outlets. We combined a content analysis of news coverage with survey data from the National Annenberg Election Study. Using multivariate time series analysis, we found that the news media respond to issue concerns of viewers and their effects vary by source.