Maxwell Mccombs

Maxwell Mccombs
University of Texas at Austin | UT · School of Journalism

About

147
Publications
340,473
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
19,410
Citations

Publications

Publications (147)
Book
Full-text available
News media strongly influence how we picture public affairs across the world, playing a significant and sometimes controversial role in determining which topics are at the centre of public attention and action. Setting the Agenda, first published in 2004, has become the go-to textbook on this crucial topic.In this timely third edition, Maxwell McCo...
Book
Full-text available
A influência das mensagens e das agendas mediáticas sobre o público é um dos temas que atravessou a história das Ciências da Comunicação até aos nossos dias, desde as abordagens mais pavlovianas aos modelos mais elaborados e complexos das versões atuais dos estudos sobre o agendamento. Ao assinalar, com a presente edição, meio século de estudos de...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the effects of both the substantive and affective dimensions of issue attributes in the news coverage of climate change on the public’s perception of the importance of this environmental issue. Results from our analysis show that the four affective dimensions (e.g., positive and negative emotions, anger, and sadness) of the thre...
Article
This study examines the effects of both the substantive and affective dimensions of issue attributes in the news coverage of climate change on the public’s perception of the importance of this environmental issue. Results from our analysis show that the four affective dimensions (e.g., positive and negative emotions, anger, and sadness) of the thre...
Article
Full-text available
The core hypothesis of the theory of agenda setting is that there is a process of transfer of salience from the media agenda to the public agenda. Since its original conception in the early 1970s, the explanatory model of ‘issue-agenda setting’ (first level) has been extended to help explain the transfer of the media’s ‘attribute agenda’ (second le...
Article
Agenda‐setting theory identifies specific elements in the news coverage of public issues and other topics that influence the formation of public opinion. Other theoretical aspects include factors shaping news coverage, consequences of agenda‐setting for the holding and direction of opinions, and the underlying psychology of agenda‐setting.
Chapter
Mass media effects in political science are well known — including campaign communications, priming effects, and the media's role in social and cultural shifts. But what is not so clear is how the actions of media outlets and the actors within these institutions affect governance. In the last 20 years, scholars in public policy and political instit...
Chapter
Leading scholars and practitioners of public policy analysis come together in this collection to enable scholars to cross-nationally compare concepts and practices of public policy analysis in the media, sub-national governments and other institutional settings.
Article
Full-text available
Can a primitive society set a public agenda? Are there some advantages for a religious society in setting an agenda? From a critical study of the communicative perspective of the Bible and hermeneutic reading of its texts, it can be said that certain elements in primitive societies succeeded in influencing the political and social agendas. They did...
Article
The role of the press as a political watchdog is crucial to the functioning of democracy. Especially in the run-up to elections, voters depend on the media's presentation of parties and candidates to make informed, responsible choices at the ballot box. But who, then, influences the news media? Empirical evidence in the United States and Europe sug...
Article
Full-text available
In choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news story and its position. In reflecting what candidates are saying during a campaign,...
Article
Full-text available
The Sewol ferry tragedy was a major event in South Korea in 2014. This study examines the agenda-setting links between a Korean online newscast (Naver) and a Korean online community (Daum). Although each portal initially focused on different crisis attributes and stakeholders regarding the ferry tragedy, their agendas became more alike over time. N...
Book
Full-text available
The role of the news media in defining the important issues of the day, also known as the agenda-setting influence of mass communication, has received widespread attention over the past 20 years. Since the publication of McCombs and Shaw's seminal empirical study, more than one hundred journal articles and monographs have appeared. This collection...
Article
Full-text available
Agenda setting explicates Walter Lippmann's thesis in Public Opinion that the news media are a major link between the world outside and the pictures in our heads. In the decades since the seminal Chapel Hill study, evidence of this media influence has been found worldwide for public issues, perceptions of public figures, and other topics. This evid...
Article
Full-text available
Agenda setting and community structure theories are conceptual inverses of one another that are rarely considered in tandem. This study employs DICTION 6.0 and McCombs and Funk's research design to compare news coverage of immigration and abortion over a 10-year period in national, high-demographic interest, and low-demographic interest newspapers....
Article
Full-text available
Walter Lippmann's description in Public Opinion of the news media as the bridge between “the world outside and the pictures in our heads” is particularly apt for the two goals of this study: exploring a new perspective in agenda-setting theory grounded in network analysis, which, in turn, provides the setting for a comparative analysis of the Iraq...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretically grounded in agenda setting, a theory focused on the transfer of influence from communication media to a public, this paper examines the media activity of Chabad, an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish movement that is committed both to making Judaism generally accessible and to influencing public discourse. Rabbi M. M. Schneerson, the movement’s la...
Article
Theoretically grounded in agenda setting, a theory focused on the transfer of influence from communication media to a public, this paper examines the media activity of Chabad, an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish movement that is committed both to making Judaism generally accessible and to influencing public discourse. Rabbi M. M. Schneerson, the movement's la...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the Network Agenda Setting Model, the third level of agenda-setting theory. It seeks to expand the model's scope by testing five years (2007-2011) of aggregated data from national news media and polls. The study finds evidence that the news media bundled issue objects and made them salient in the public's mind. Findings of the s...
Article
Full-text available
As agenda-setting theory moves toward its 50th anniversary, its productivity in the past and at present augurs a highly promising future. In this essay, the original theorists trace the development of agenda setting and identify seven distinct facets. They explore three of the seven facets—need for orientation, network agenda setting, and agendamel...
Article
Full-text available
This study analyzes attribute agenda setting within a fragmented media environment. We conduct a content analysis of cable news network coverage of Iraq and compare it to national survey respondents' opinions of the war. The study finds that people who watched two cable outlets felt differently than people who only watched one outlet, political lea...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines three distinct aspects of the agenda-setting influence of the news media on the public as well as the psychological principles that explain when this influence is strong and when it is weak. The continuing evolution of the theory of agenda setting has now extended over nearly a half century, from the seminal 1968 Chapel Hill s...
Article
Full-text available
This study finds support for agenda melding and further validates the Network Agenda Setting (NAS) model through a series of computer science methods with large datasets on Twitter. The results demonstrate that during the 2012 U.S. presidential election, distinctive audiences “melded” agendas of various media differently. “Vertical” media best pred...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of Need for Orientation introduced in the early years of agenda-setting research provided a psychological explanation for why agenda-setting effects occur in terms of what individuals bring to the media experience that determines the strength of these effects. Until recently, there had been no significant additions to our knowledge abou...
Article
Full-text available
New research complements the concept of Need for Orientation as a psychological explanation for agenda-setting effects. • Dual paths of psychological responses to media messages that result in agenda-setting effects are explicated in recent research. • Need for Orientation and dual psychological paths are extended to attribute agenda setting. • Nee...
Article
In this timely volume, the authors explore public affairs journalism, a practice that lies at the core of the journalism profession. They go beyond the journalistic instruction for reporting and presenting news to reflect on why journalism works the way it does. Asking current and future journalists the critical questions, "Why do we do it?" and "W...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the decades since the seminal Chapel Hill study, agenda setting has evolved into a broad theory and set of hypotheses encompassing five theoretical areas. Characterized by two major trends, all five of these areas remain active research arenas. There is a centrifugal trend, the expansion into new domains and settings far beyond the original real...
Chapter
Full-text available
En el desarrollo de la teoría de agenda-setting, Esteban López-Escobar ha sido un importante establecedor de la agenda. Aunque la evolución de la agenda-setting a una teoría integral es el resultado de cientos de estudios realizados por un gran número de académicos, sólo un puñado de ellos se destacan como los principales contribuyentes. El nombre...
Article
We swim in a vast sea of news and information, a gestalt of communication channels where the whole is indeed much greater than the sum of its parts. In this process of learning about the world around us through a continuous process of civic osmosis, the Internet and a growing host of electronic devices add dynamic and major channels to this gestalt...
Article
Full-text available
Community structure research investigates the influence of the local community and specific demographic groups in the community on the degree of emphasis that particular public issues receive in a local newspaper. In contrast to this internal source of influence, intermedia agenda setting emphasizes the external influence of other news media and th...
Article
Need for orientation (NFO) is a key contingent condition for agenda-setting effects. Traditionally, this concept has been measured by two lower-order components, but a recent reconceptualization expanded it to three dimensions. The current experimental study tested how comparable the traditional and new NFO scales are, and how strongly they predict...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Journalists present agenda information about the public community, a task central to the watchman profession, and to the extent that audiences need or value that community they adopt the salient topic array, which is a representation of an agenda community, the community in which we actually live when we extend our limited lives. For whatever reaso...
Article
Far too often, one comes upon people who are unwilling or unable to tear down the artificial walls between “academic research” and “practical broadcasting.” Naturally, many of the most fruitful researchers recognize the advantages of tying their work to the “real world,” and many of the most efficient broadcasters rely strongly upon rigorous resear...
Book
Unfortunately, I do not have an electronic file for Setting the Agenda. Best wishes for your research, Max McCombs
Article
Full-text available
This study examined agenda-setting differences between those aged 18 to 34 and two older generations. Using two surveys with statewide random samples and content analyses for each, it found that the agenda of issues important to young adults was correlated with the media's issue agenda (rho= .80 and .90). For the heaviest Internet users, who were m...
Article
Full-text available
Combining a telephone survey of a probability sample of residents in the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area and a content analysis of the local daily newspaper, this study replicates and extends prior research on attribute agenda setting with an emphasis on the attribute priming consequences of agenda-setting effects for opinions about candidates in...
Article
Full-text available
Hace cuarenta años, en Chapel Hill, Carolina del Norte, el primer estudio de agenda-setting mostró que los temas priorizados por las noticias correspondían a los temas priorizados por el público. Desde entonces, este modelo de análisis ha sido replicado en más de 400 estudios en los cinco continentes, incluyendo una gran variedad de temas, en escen...
Article
Full-text available
After an earlier study found the public’s dominant expectation of the press was to be a good neighbor and not a watchdog, the present study set out to determine what being a good neighbor meant for different segments of the public. The analysis revealed that being a good neighbor was strongly valued by women, African Americans, and Hispanics. Many...
Article
Full-text available
2 Donald L. Shaw, a Senior Fellow for 1992–93 at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University, is a Kenan Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Article
An experiment is reported in which a variety of audio-visual presentations were made to a group of first grade pupils. It was found that there was no significant difference between three learning conditions: verbal availability, object availability, and a combination of the two. It is therefore suggested that either a verbal presentation or a visua...
Article
A major theoretical problem for communication research has been to adequately couple the mass media and interpersonal communication systems. A parsimonious application of the information-seeking viewpoint to this interface suggests the general hypothesis that the information needs generated by interpersonal communication lead to use of the mass med...
Article
A survey found the public does not strongly endorse traditional journalism norms of watchdog and rapid reporting. Furthermore, when opinions of survey respondents and journalists were compared, survey respondents were significantly more likely to say providing a community forum, a public journalism principle, was extremely important. African Americ...
Article
Full-text available
The agenda-setting role of the news media is a powerful influence on what we pay attention to and how we understand the vast world of public affairs that lies beyond our personal experien- ce. Subsequent to the seminal Chapel Hill study in 1972, agenda setting theory has expanded beyond the influence of the news media on the public to elaborate the...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines how the media can build a news event's salience by emphasizing different aspects of the event during its life span. A two-dimensional measurement scheme is proposed as a systematic way of examining media frames. This scheme yields cross-issue generalizability that liberates framing research from issue-specific boundaries. A cont...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the consequences of agenda-setting effects for attitudes toward political figures during the 1996 presidential election. In particular, guided by the literature from agenda setting, attitude strength, and the hierarchy of effects, the analysis tested hypotheses about the relationships among media coverage, public salience, and t...
Article
Full-text available
This research examines the agenda-setting relationships among three key institutions at a time of major political change in Turkey, the February 28 recommendations on educational reform. The central hypothesis is that the politically powerful MGK put the issue of educational reform on the press agenda. A secondary hypothesis is that the MGK also pu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
The present study revisits the relationship between the civic duty to keep informed and news media use in the new media environment, then discovers that the civic duty to keep informed functions as an intervening variable between education and news media use. Of particular theoretical interest is that the civic duty to keep informed was found to be...
Chapter
Seit der berühmten Chapel Hill Studie zu den U.S. Präsidentenwahlen von 1969 sind über 200 Untersuchungen zur Agenda-Setting-Theorie durchgeführt worden. Diese Studien weisen Agenda-Setting-Effekte in Asien, Europa und Nordamerika nach, analysieren die Bedingungen, die mit diesen Effekten kontingent sind, sie verstärken oder abschwächen und befasse...
Article
When a poll respondent is asked to name the most important problem facing the country, why is that the most important problem to that individual? Does concern arise from self-interest, peer influence, a sense of civic obligation, or what? Using a set of seven questions developed to measure personal motivations for concern about a specific problem,...
Article
Many studies have established that there is a degree of audience learning from the mass media, especially of new issues entering the news. But recent studies show an agenda-setting effect at deeper levels beyond broad news categories. Audiences also absorb the attributes of news—the frames and slants in the way news is presented—and this suggests t...
Article
This study explores two sets of hypotheses: An increment in media use for political information corresponds to (1) an increment in community consensus about social priorities (first level agenda setting); and (2) an increment in community consensus about politicians’ attributes (second level agenda setting). The analysis of first level effects, whi...
Article
This study had two goals: to replicate research by Marilyn Roberts and Maxwell McCombs on intermedia agenda setting in a Spanish election and to explore that pattern of intermedia relationships at both the first and second levels of agenda setting. Similar to Roberts and McCombs' findings in a Texas gubernatorial election, the newspaper agenda in S...
Chapter
Full-text available
Agenda-setting research, first explored empirically in the United States in 1972 by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw, has crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in recent years to become more international in scope. At the same time, it has also expanded from a concern with the salience of issues to a concern with the salience of the attributes of...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional agenda-setting theory is about the influence of mass media on the public's focus of attention, who and what people are thinking about. The expanded theory of agenda setting tested here during the 1995 regional and municipal elections in Spain elaborates the influence of the mass media on how people think about persons and topics in the...
Article
A Texas daily newspaper proposed eight public issues affecting children for the community agenda in a full-page editorial at the beginning of the year. Content analysis of the newspaper for the subsequent year detailed the follow through in the news columns. Comparison of the city budgets in the year before and year after this editorial campaign sh...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined three intertwined hypotheses about long-term trends in the American public's issue agenda: increases in (1) agenda capacity, (2) agenda diversity, and (3) issue volatility. These hypotheses were tested with aggregate time series data covering 40 years of Gallup Poll Most Important Problem questions. The first two hypotheses also...
Article
Full-text available
The study extends agenda-setting research by examining issue diversity as a consequence of media exposure. Results from two surveys—one conducted in the United States, the other in Taiwan—illustrate differences in the cultures of the two samples. In general, older individuals who find low utility in advertising information but who read a variety of...
Article
Full-text available
The number of potential sources shaping the media's agenda is large, ranging from external sources in government and the private sector to the idiosyncrasies of individual journalists. The focus in this study is intermedia agenda setting. Commonly defined in terms of the influence that the news agendas of different news organizations have on each o...