The news media have significant influence on the formation of public opinion. Called the agenda-setting role of the media, this influence occurs at three levels. Focusing public attention on a select few issues or other topics at any moment is level one. Emphasizing specific attributes of those issues or topics is level two. The Power of Information Networks: The Third Level of Agenda Setting introduces the newest perspective on this influence. While levels one and two are concerned with the salience of discrete individual elements, the third level offers a more comprehensive and nuanced perspective to explain media effects in this evolving media landscape: the ability of the news media to determine how the public associates the various elements in these media messages to create an integrated picture of public affairs. This is the first book to detail the theoretical foundations, methodological approaches, and international empirical evidence for this new perspective. Cutting-edge communication analytics such as network analysis, Big Data and data visualization techniques are used to examine these third-level effects. Diverse applications of the theory are documented in political communication, public relations, health communication, and social media research.
The Power of Information Networks will interest scholars, students and practitioners concerned with the media and their social and cultural effects.
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Lei Guo is an assistant professor in the Emerging Media Studies Division of the College of Communication at Boston University. Guo’s research focuses mainly on agenda-setting theory, alternative media, and international communication.
Maxwell McCombs is the Jesse H. Jones Centennial Chair in Communication Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and has been a visiting professor annually at the University of Navarra in Spain since 1994. Professor McCombs is internationally recognized for his research on the agenda-setting role of mass communication, and the influence of the media on the focus of public attention.Review:
"Far from being outdated, Agenda Setting theory continues to help explain much of what we experience in a hyper-connected world. Guo and McCombs not only demonstrate that networks deepen the Agenda Setting effect, but also offer a multitude of novel perspectives from other scholars on this exciting new direction in media study." ―Harlen Makemson, Elon University
"This innovative book is a valuable and original addition to the voluminous literature on agenda setting. It includes chapters on the theoretical and methodological foundations of this third level of agenda-setting research by two former students of Maxwell McCombs, as well as case studies using this new approach in political communication and public relations by a wide range of scholars from the U.S. and other countries. It is essential and thought-provoking reading for those interested in agenda-setting research."―David H. Weaver, Indiana University
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