What is the biggest social problem in the news today? Who makes issues newsworthy and important? Why do some issues receive more attention than others? Social issues that are widely recognized on the media's agenda often demand attention on the public agenda, and in turn influence the policy agenda, creating policy changes. James W. Dearing and Everett M. Rogers's research on social issues that hit the top of the media agenda -- e.g., the war on drugs, drunk driving, the Exxon Valdez, the Ethiopian famine, and AIDS -- provides important theoretical and practical insight into the agenda-setting process and its role in effecting social change.
This reader-friendly volume introduces students to an important area of communication research and offers them direction for further inquiry. Researchers and professionals in political and mass communication, media studies, research methods, and marketing also will appreciate this volume's insightful approach to agendasetting and policy.