Mass Media Literature Review

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Literature review

The agenda-setting function of the mass media has evolved and continues to do so. Since the initial 1968 Chapel Hill study, the concept of agenda setting has become more refined and complex. The potency of agenda-setting influence is found to vary dramatically depending on certain contingent conditions of the receivers of that information and the issues themselves. Yet, as the world continues turning to be a more complex global village and audiences learn more about the world outside and form “pictures in their heads” about issues, the power of the media to influence is not to be underestimated.

Brosius and Kepplinger (1990) found that agenda-setting effects were most likely to occur when coverage was intense and when there
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While these news factors have been confirmed in many studies, the interpretation of the material has very often been dependent on the ontological perspective involved. From a realist viewpoint, foreign reporting based on news factor selection does create highly fragmented images of external reality.

Besides the enormous number of empirical case studies of foreign reporting in different countries that have been prepared during the recent decades, two studies have had outstanding implications for research. The so-called 'MacBride-Report ' of UNESCO in 1980 is an analytic as well as programmatic assessment of information flows, the system of international foreign reporting and the international communication system.
The study of UNESCO about 'Foreign News ', finally published in 1985, compares foreign reporting in 29 countries (Srcberny-Mohammadi et ai, 1985). The 'MacBride-Report ' assumes that foreign reporting generally overemphasizes irrelevant news; presents disparate facts as artificial stories; misinterprets events and suggests wrong interpretations; creates pictures of enmity as a means of legitimizing the individual, society and politics; while failing to cover vital
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An interpretation of empirical content analyses solely on the basis of news factor catalogues the socio-psychological concept of stereotypes or framing-analysis is insufficient to explain the relationship between media, society and politics.

Recent studies, however, confirm that the basic problems of particularist international coverage were more or less same in the last decade as they were in the decades before, and can be located on all relevant levels of international coverage: in the foreign reporting of nationally based mass media, of transnational media as well as the news services of news agencies.

The problems of media globalization can be explained with the help of interdependence theory. Some time ago, Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye pointed to the fact that 'interconnectedness is not the same as interdependence ' (Keohane and Nye, 1977, p. 9). 'Interconnectedness ' is defined as 'flows of money, goods, people, and messages across international boundaries ' (Keohane and Nye, 1977, p. 8f). 'Interdependence ' is understood as a negative-sum, zero-sum or positive-sum game between partners who are

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