Maxwell McCombs and Sebastián Valenzuela
This chapter discusses contemporary directions of agenda-setting research. It reviews the basic concept of agenda setting, the transfer of salience from the media agenda to the public agenda as a key step in the formation of public opinion, the concept of need for orientation as a determinant of issue salience, the ways people learn the media agenda, attribute agenda setting, and the consequences of agenda setting that result from priming and attribute priming. Across the theoretical areas found in the agenda-setting tradition, future studies can contribute to the role of news in media effects by showing how agenda setting evolves in the new and expanding media landscape as well as continuing to refine agenda setting’s core concepts.
R. Bin Wong
This article examines how place can be detected or identified and evaluates its importance in politics. It reviews some of the challenges faced in defining place and offers a few examples of the significance some analysts have assigned to place. It suggests how an attention to place can help us explain variations in political outcomes when many features of the situations would lead us to expect the same kinds and discusses the conception of place as a geographical location, as a human project and political object, and as a type of bargaining and control strategy.
William L. Benoit
This chapter begins by arguing for the importance of election campaigns. Next, it describes the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse. Assumptions, key concepts, and predictions are discussed. The chapter then summarizes the research that has applied this theory to a wide variety of election campaign messages: US president (primary and general), non-presidential (Senate, House, gubernatorial, mayoral), non-US TV spots and debates, and news coverage of election campaigns. The three functions – acclaims, attacks, and defenses – and the two topics – policy and character – are discussed. The chapter discusses effects of campaign phase and incumbency on candidate messages. Finally, this chapter addresses limitations of this theory and directions for future research.