Agenda setting in a digital age : tracking attention to California Proposition 8 in social media, online news, and conventional news
Shah, Dhavan V.
Bode, L., Sayre, B., Shah, C., Shah, D., & Wilcox, D. “Agenda Setting in a Digital Age: Tracking Attention to California Proposition 8 in Social Media, Online News, and Conventional News.” 2010. Policy & Internet: Vol. 2: Iss. 2, Article 2.
This study compares the agenda-setting cues of traditional media alongside those of online media in general and social media in particular. The main line of inquiry concerns (a) whether people posting content to openly accessible social media outlets may be acting in response to mainstream news coverage, possibly as a "corrective" to perceived imbalances in that coverage, or (b) whether such posts seem to have influenced professional media coverage of the issue, possibly reflecting broader opinion dynamics. We do not view these as competing hypotheses, as this relationship may run in both directions and shift at different points in the evolution of an issue. Our goal is to establish important preliminary findings by addressing these questions in the context of a particular issue that is (a) prominently covered in professional media, and (b) contentious enough to inspire individuals to "take the media into their own hands" by producing and publishing their own "coverage." Proposition 8 in California, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as the exclusive right of opposite-sex couples, provides this context. Our analysis focuses on the thousands of videos posted to YouTube and coverage of Proposition 8 in professional news media, tracing the relationships among them.
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