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News Media and Media Relations

  • Mass Media: Agenda Setting
    • Media influence is cumulative and long-term.
    • Agenda-setting: the media set the public agenda
      • For issues of the day:
        • what we think about and talk about--McCombs and Shaw (1972)
      • Make us aware of issues, ideas, products, services
      • Vital first step in decision-making

  • Agenda Setting & PR
    • Research shows PR often sets the agenda that the media then adopt, ultimately impacting what audiences think about. -- Curtin, Qi Qiu and Khiousis

  • Agenda Setting & Social Media
    • The influence of news media on the public's agenda has moved into new media ~2012
    • Conversely, traditional media are vertical — top down to the public — while social media are horizontal — everyone can become a source of influence.
      • Challenges the view of a passive audience.

  • Media Relations: News
    • Adversarial; gatekeeping
    • Gatekeeping theory
      • Power to make the initial judgment as to whether a story is important
                        -- Lewin 1957; White 1950

  • Uncontrolled messages
    • Publicity—News that appears in the time or space reserved for news copy or programming.
      • Objective: to make something or someone known.
      • The content and absorption affects public opinion—not the amount.

  • Framing
    • “To select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and / or treatment recommendation." --Entman, 1993
    • Selection and presentation influence how the audience thinks about an issue

    • Media framing helps publics make sense of complex issues
    • Influences publics’ perception and attitudes toward issues -- Jee, 2001

    • Framing Examples
      • Presenting a healthcare news story in an ethical frame that emphasized rights and morals can cause an audience to utilize the same frame in interpreting other stories on healthcare issues. (Shah & Domke, 1995)
      • Gain-framed messages are more likely than loss-framed messages to encourage prevention behaviors. (Gallagher & Updegraff, 2011)

  • Question of credibility
    • Perceived value of information decreases when we suspect source to be self-serving.
    • This leads to sources hiding their identity or disguising the nature of their interest
                      • --Gandy, 1992

    • Issues of Credibility
      • Ethics (fake news)
      • Originator not identified