What Happens When Media Coverage Influences Public Opinion

What Happens When Media Coverage Influences Public Opinion.

LAWRENCE — An one-time adage in journalism inquiry holds that the media can’t tell yous what to think, but it can tell you what to think well-nigh. A first-of-its-kind study from the University of Kansas shows that despite a rapidly changing media mural and ever-increasing globalization, factors that affect how people view media and of import topics differ widely from land to country.

Calendar-setting theory has studied how media influence what people think virtually and how they view media since the early 1970s. The KU report, however, moved across studying a unmarried land and conducted a large-data analysis of agenda-setting in 16 nations on v continents. They constitute that numerous factors contribute to how much people are influenced past media and how they view it.

“The central thought was that the upshot journalism has on the public is a product of civilisation, economic system and similar factors in a nation,” said Hong Tien Vu, assistant professor of journalism at KU. “Our findings provide empirical prove that individual factors, such equally age, education, living surface area and political ideology, and national macrovariables, including economic development and media freedom, are associated with the forcefulness of such effects.”

The study, co-authored with Peter Bobkowski, acquaintance professor of journalism, and doctoral pupil Liefu Jiang, both at KU, is forthcoming in the periodical International Communications Gazette.

The authors used survey information collected by the International Social Survey Programme, which collected data from 33 countries. The authors used data from 16 of the countries chosen because they are geographically, economically and politically various: Argentine republic, Austria, Canada, Chile, Taiwan, Frg, Israel, Southward Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Espana, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. The authors worked with researchers who are either native speakers or fluent in the languages of each of the 16 countries and analyzed nearly fourscore,000 articles from 31 major newspapers across the countries.

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The articles were scanned using a estimator-assisted program to analyze how often words in public affairs categories were used. Those results were compared to the survey data in which respondents rated the importance of certain issues in their country, including health care, education, crime, the surround, clearing, the economy, terrorism and poverty, or “none of these” or “tin can’t choose.”

Scanning results showed which problems the newspapers covered most often, or the virtually salient media agenda. Analysis showed economic system was the most salient media upshot in 11 nations, criminal offense the nigh salient in three, while health and education were well-nigh important in one each. Terrorism was the least salient upshot in seven countries’ corresponding media, poverty least prominent in five, clearing least pressing in two and environment least salient in two besides.

The media agendas showed moderately high correlation with the issues the public accounted about of import; all the same, just six nations showed statistically significant relationships between media and public agendas, including South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Philippines, Mexico and Chile. Results were analyzed on both a national and individual level and showed that 4 of five individual demographics — age, educational activity, living surface area and political credo — predicted how distant people were from media agendas. Younger, more educated and politically liberal individuals were all less likely to be equally influenced by media agenda. Residents of big cities were more influenced by media agenda than rural residents, and sex activity was the but individual factor not associated with issue distance, or how influenced individuals were by media calendar.

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National results examined how factors including economic development and media liberty influence individuals’ calendar overlap with media agenda and found both were potent predictors of alignment. Specifically, economic evolution measures showed people from developed nations were more likely to sway from the national media agenda, while lack of wealth tended to prove individuals in understanding with media on pinnacle issues.

“It’s possible people in more developed countries are more skeptical and the media doesn’t have every bit much influence on them,” Vu said. “Nevertheless, when you accept enough economical resource, you tin can call up most things similar the environment or gender equality. When you lot’re living in poverty, it’s hard to think nearly anything other than putting nutrient on the table. Too, people in nondeveloped countries often take few media options or don’t take every bit much media contact.”

While increases in economic development showed an increase in distance between individuals’ and media agendas, the researchers constitute that in countries with little press freedom, as development increased, so did calendar overlap. Therefore, overlap between public and individual agendas was greatest in rich countries with piffling press freedom, such as Israel, and the least in rich countries with high press liberty, such every bit Switzerland.

The findings show that media can still influence what people call up about, but several national and private factors greatly influence how it happens. Effects are not the same from one country to the next or even from one person to the next.

The research “is among the few studies that investigated media effects in clan with national macro factors,” the authors wrote. “It empirically corroborates the argument that examining the complex relationship between the media and the public in general needs to be conducted within the wider context of economic development, media systems and culture.”

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What Happens When Media Coverage Influences Public Opinion

Source: https://news.ku.edu/2018/09/13/study-shows-how-media-influence-public-individual-opinions-varies-country-factors

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