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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Donna J. Hess


The purpose of this research was to study the process involved in the setting of the news agenda by a daily newspaper. In this case study, interviews were conducted with the reporters, city editors, copy desk personnel, and top editors of a midwestern newspaper. The 31 interviews were combined with a content analysis and other indicators in an effort to identify the key factors involved in agenda setting. Five theoretical perspectives--socialization, shared news values, definition of the situation, exchange theory and dominant ideology--framed this study, and all were found, in a dynamic interactive process, to impact the agenda-setting process. In addition, this study was open to emergent themes and found that economic constraints, competition among media, and role taking by staff members played key parts in the agenda-setting process at the newspaper under study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Journalism -- Political aspects
Journalism -- Social aspects




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