WVU COMM 493I - Hardman, Zach - midterm graded (6 pages)

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Hardman, Zach - midterm graded



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Hardman, Zach - midterm graded

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Pages:
6
School:
West Virginia University
Course:
Comm 493i - SPTP:Diffusion of Innovations
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Zach Hardman COMM 493k 002 Midterm Response 1 There are several different ways that the news media can influence citizens attention to and beliefs about different issues First define priming framing and agenda setting effects and give examples of each be sure your answer makes it clear how these different media effects differ Second think specifically about the recent news coverage of Ebola in the U S and explain how priming framing and agenda setting effects could lead to public panic Again include specific examples in your explanation whether they are examples you have actually seen or not Media has always been able influence citizens beliefs and what they pay attention to in the world as well as their local communities Although in early years especially in the United States this was not the case Newspapers were a scarce luxury and with a literacy rate approaching 90 percent in inner cities American s were hungry for news Yet in the inner cities only one out of 32 residents would receive a copy of a daily newspaper Studies showed if newspapers in 1790 if newspapers were distributed evenly throughout the U S each American would receive only one issue a year This was the dilemma even after the policy of exchanges was implemented in 1758 by Benjamin Franklin and William Hunter which allowed printers by postal law to exchange their newspapers through mail without a postage stamp while also allowing the receiving local papers to cut and paste any information from the original source Thus standardizing the information as it flooded inland Even with these exchanges most Americans outside of the cities had were receiving their news insight from small taverns where news was discussed aloud within the local community These grass roots news reading taverns took whatever information existed and made it interactive therefore taking it out of the hands of the elites who distributed the information Kuypers 2014 These taverns in my opinion are where some of the first occurrences of framing began because of how they were able to essentially twist the story however they wanted it to be perceived Although the theories of the media effects of agenda setting priming and framing were not formally developed and tested until the 19th century I believe they have been unknowingly in practice for quite some time Have you ever wondered why a certain story breaks or is made to seem more salient than another story that is a blatantly larger issue Well probably not unless you research current world events on a daily basis This is the theory of agenda setting at work Agenda setting is the theory that the media can force attention to certain issues and make these issues seem the most newsworthy at the time Although at first it was hypothesized that it is mainly used within political campaigns it is noticeable in every day media today Many people have only the media as their source for political and current events news Therefore the media in theory is able to set their own public agenda by showing specific content more frequently or instead of a more controversial story such as the Ferguson Missouri incidents Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw performed a study in 1972 that tested the effect that agenda setting has on viewers perception of important issues The study investigated the agenda setting capabilities of the media in the 1968 presidential campaigns They selected 100 participants who would be interviewed to compare what participants thought to be important issues in the campaign to what the content shared by the media suggested to be important They controlled the participants by asking a filter question to ensure that they were not committed to a candidate yet The media that the participants viewed was monitored for two weeks as they were also asked to outline what they perceived to be key issues in the campaign over that time McCombs and Shaw s findings showed that the media did have an influence over what viewers perceive as important The correlations between the minor and major issues designated in the study also proved that the findings were a result of agenda setting and not selective perception which is when a voter pays more attention to the issues to the concern of his or her own party Although McCombs and Shaw proved there is such thing as agenda setting this study raises an argument for today s world of how agenda setting is different or if it is even still relevant This argument is brought up because in today s world there are far more media outlets than in 1972 Is the media still able to manipulate viewers as easily as before The logical answer would be no yet it seems that not every viewer exhausts all the resources at their fingertips Citizens of today s world move fast and like to in a sense have their agenda set for them Although these media outlets can manipulate you into deeming an event as news worthy it has not yet been proven that they can dictate how you interrupt their stories It is for that reason that I believe agenda setting is not much different than it ever has been In fact I would go as far as to say people today are more manipulated by agenda setting than ever on average in today s society Most people have lost their natural sense of questioning authority and have been beaten into following and believing everything the government and media tells them They do not necessarily care what is going on in the world unless it directly affects them therefore they are less likely to question if what is on the news is what should be on the news This in turn has resulted in a standstill in technological and political advancement Citizens especially those of the United States have been primed to believe that the number one goal in their life is to make money to be able to help the economy and their selves become wealthier instead of following your dreams regardless of the pay grade that it comes with To prime someone or to be primed in a communication context refers to changes in the standards that people use to make evaluations Contrary to agenda setting this media effect is used to plant certain issues or benchmarks in the viewer s head to force them to unconsciously think of that issue when a key word is brought up For example in the 2004 presidential election George W Bush used the word terrorism in a multitude of speeches and interviews This primed viewers to think of Bush fighting terrorism when they heard of any terroristic issues Priming can also be used in a media context such


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