Date of Award

Summer 2009

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Chattopadhyay, Sumana

Second Advisor

Byers, Stephen

Third Advisor

D'Urso, Scott

Abstract

Most past agenda setting studies have focused on first-level agenda setting effects i.e. the transfer of salience between the media and the public. However transfer of salience can also occur between media outlets, a phenomenon referred to as inter-media agenda setting. Inter-media agenda setting deals with instances where media agendas are shaped by other media (Lopez-Escobar et al., 1998; Reese & Danielian, 1989) and traditional inter-media agenda setting studies have analyzed relationships between traditional news media sources like local and national TV news and local and national print media (McCombs & Shaw, 1976, Protess and McCombs, 1991; Golan, 2006). Sweetser, Golan and Wanta (2008) were the first to analyze the connection between the agendas offered by candidates ' political ads and campaign blogs and the mainstream news media. Candidate messages however not only influence the non-partisan mainstream--media but also influence a plethora of partisan information sources. For example, in the '08 campaign, the partisan blogosphere was considered a prominent place for discussion of campaign messages particularly during the flash points of the campaign- a kind of inter-media agenda setting that needs to be explored and better understood. The present study therefore, .analyzes how candidate ads during campaign 2008 influenced the issue agendas of the blog posts of two popular partisan websites Salon. com (liberal) and The National Review Online (conservative). This study will help arrive at a better understanding of how partisan campaign messages like political ads affect agendas in the heavily fractured blogosphere.

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