Publication details [#63904]

Vargo, Chris J. 2018. Fifty years of agenda-setting research. New directions and challenges for the theory. The Agenda Setting Journal 2 (2) : 105–123.
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Article in journal
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Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


50 years have passed since the seminal 1968 election study was conducted in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A conference was held with formative theorists Drs. Shaw, Weaver and McCombs. Presentations clustered into 9 clear areas. First, there were areas undergoing theoretical expansion: (1) agenda building, (2) Network Agenda Setting (NAS), (3) Need For Orientation (NFO), and (4) agendamelding. Beyond the established areas, (5) new theoretical directions were proposed. Other work tested and validated the theory in the current digital and political landscape. This included work on (6) the current U.S. political climate, and (7) agenda setting in unique international conditions. Methodological boundaries were pushed, with presentations focused on (8) qualitative agenda setting and (9) best practices for big data and on social media. This article summarizes the aforementioned themes and synthesizes comments raised in discussion at the conference.