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Media as an Agenda-Setting Tool Research Paper


Media has emerged as an important tool for institutions and individuals due to its ability to bridge the gap in the interaction matrix. The effect of media on communication has led to suitability in their authoritativeness towards informing the public. The type of media used has varying effects on the way communication is perceived by the public. The efficacy of the type of media used depends on a variety of factors that should all be analyzed to ensure that the most applicable choices are made. Thus, this reflective treatise attempts to explicitly analyze how media has been used as an agenda-setting tool.

Parameters of media in agenda-setting

The agenda-setting theory of media states that through continued coverage of an issue, public attention is drawn to the issue (Moncrie and Willy par. 9). This means that media can, and has been used in the past to create a set pace for an agenda. According to behavioral theorists, a behavior can be altered through conditioning (Bowden 72). The continued bombarding of the general public with the reports about the Twin Towers bombing made people from all countries in the world take notice of the security issue of terrorism. This is including those countries that had not been threatened with terrorism in the past. Just because the issue became important to newspapers, it gained the attention of the rest of the world as indicated in video 1.

With the continued growth in technology, as well as, the growth in the number of people that have become technologically savvy, the internet has emerged as one of the most preferred modes of communication. People are regularly corresponding with each other through the use of e-mails, chats, short messages services, blogs, and social media. This has led to the development of social media platforms where people meet over the internet and discuss issues (Moncrie and Willy par. 7).

The topics discussed within these sites gives an individual a feel of what is important and what is not in the world. Information written over the internet, as with the other written communications, portrays a sense of validity and reliability due to their relative permanency. This means that these modes of communication have a more significant influence on individual opinions, moods, and attitudes than verbal communications.

The media approach to communication has cemented its place in the world because of its formality. Reflectively, written correspondence can be stored and retrieved at a future date. With the definition of good communications comprising of concise, clear, complete, considerate, correct, and courteous communication, written communication fits the bill. Besides, this approach to communication can be revised and edited several so that the message can have the desired effect (Bowden 71). Due to its permanency, the effort is made to ensure that the value of the message is not overstated. This is because valuable communication that is stored can be used over and over again.

According to behavioral psychologists, behaviors and attitudes can be changed through conditioning (Moncrie and Willy par. 6). Repetition of an act followed by either punishment or rewards leads to behavioral changes. This indicates how the media can and has been used to reinforce behaviors. Imitation of authority figures forms the basis on which most of the behaviors develop. Moreover, the socialization process forms the basis through which learning takes place among members of a community (Moncrie and Willy par. 5).

With the increase in globalization and the emergence of a global village, the media has taken a front seat in directing the learning process. This is because of the aspect of validity that is associated with written materials can be easily assimilated in the information template to fulfill the intended purpose as was created by the source. The characteristic of each approach, together with their benefits and drawbacks should be investigated to ensure that the best alternative is chosen within the choices available in the particular environment (Bowden 68). Since media is intrinsic of the behavior persuasion notes, it is forms the focal point of a decode-encode relationship.

According to the Center for the Study of Commercialism, perception of the mind is often ignited through series of propaganda initiatives aimed at awakening involuntary desire to possess or associate with a product or service (p. 23).

Advertising through media involves building a friendly partnership and working relationship with a market segment without necessarily having physical contact with it. Therefore, through timely appeal to emotions and self prejudice, advertising agencies relying on media have realized that the human mind is often skewed towards embracing the ‘perceived goodness’ and need to identify with ‘the ideal’. Interestingly, these aspects are painted as perfect in the various written advertisements about products and services (Center for the Study of Commercialism 28).

The different contents of media dealing with similar issues have an accumulated impact on an individual’s perception of a subject. This means that the more an issue is covered in terms of being published in the media, the more importance is allocated to the issue. Essentially, the success of media communication depends on the proper alignment of a functional idea into the creation of flexible, involuntary, and quantifiable measurement of perception among the target audience.

Reflectively, this idea should have essential elements that can easily sway the mind, either positively or negatively. Therefore, media is pronounced successful when it creates a reliable, informed, and passionate appeal to the perception of the target. This is achieved by advertisers through the presentation of exaggerated testimonials or ideas to the target audience. Often, the testimonials aim at triggering ‘identity socialization’, since the target would embrace the idea based on repeated appeal (Moncrie and Willy par. 7).

Although the media has a significant influence on the behaviors and opinions, it’s much of influence lies in its ability to form or influence opinions on a new subject or matter. When a new product or service is introduced in the market, its promotion involves feeding the public with unique marketing communication (Bowden 74). Since the public has no frame of reference to the base and compares these communications with, the promotion message is taken at a face value.

This means that the consumers base their opinions on the products on the messages from the producers. If an automotive company, for example, came up with a vehicle that does not use the conventional sources of energy but draws energy from the atmosphere, the information the automotive company would use to advertise their product would be what is considered as the guideline to forming opinions on the new kind of automotive (Bowden 69).


Conclusively, it is tasking to unmasked the quantifiable effects of media on people’s minds since the resultant effects are sometimes negligible and very simple. However, media have a direct influence on involuntary response effects and the order in which they occur. The main effects that media has on the minds of people include active salience, cueing, perception, and association. The higher the salience and cueing, the more effects written media has on the mental attitude and behavior.

Works cited

Bowden, John. “The Process of Customer Engagement: A Conceptual Framework.” Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 17.1 (2009): 63-74. Print.

Center for the Study of Commercialism. Advertising has too Great an Influence on Society: Advertising opposing viewpoints, Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Print.

Moncrief, Warren and Marshall Willy. The Evolution of the Seven Steps of Selling. 2012. Web.

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"Media as an Agenda-Setting Tool." IvyPanda, 2 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/media-as-an-agenda-setting-tool/.

1. IvyPanda. "Media as an Agenda-Setting Tool." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-as-an-agenda-setting-tool/.


IvyPanda. "Media as an Agenda-Setting Tool." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-as-an-agenda-setting-tool/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Media as an Agenda-Setting Tool." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-as-an-agenda-setting-tool/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Media as an Agenda-Setting Tool'. 2 September.

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