Expanding the domain of the agenda-setting function of mass communication

Date of publication: August 1, 1975


The impact of mass communication -- the ability to effect cognitive change among individuals -- has been labeled the agenda-setting function of mass communication. Here may lie the most important effect of modern mass communication, the ability of media to structure our world for us. As political scientist Bernard Cohen has summarized it, the mass media may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but the media are stunningly successful in telling their audiences what to think about.

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