Agenda Setting Essay

460 WordsAug 3, 20132 Pages
Agenda-setting is done by the elite in each democracy who decide which topics will be the current topics in the different media. There are two views that adresses the way agenda setting processes occur online. One view is Hindman's who believes that it is only the elite who decide and the other one is Benkler's who argues that the public sphere is now networked for more people to be heard. The skeptic view is that agenda setting online is not different than the traditional ones. While the gatekeepers have changed they are still present, only a tiny portion of the web is searched and mostly not for political searches, the infrastructure of the internet itself (with links that help some sites remain at the top of search engine lists) obstructs other voices than the mainstream to be heard. The concept of the missing middle shows that only mainstream and a very small part of other small websites are visited while all of the other one “the middle” ones, are being completely ignored. This is exemplified by the sentence “everyone can talk but not everyone can be heard”. Hindman goes further by showing that while the most read form of political commentary in the US is blogs – those blogs are written by white men who are educated from elite schools – and almost never writen by the people that other scholars believed are given a voice : uneducated people from underpriviledged classes. This view can however be moderated by the fact that online agenda setting presents many advantages that make them effective. Now online media is the main type of media that reaches the most citizens as there has been a shift (like for the radio in the 20's and the TV in the 60's). It helps reach less politically active citizens who can start looking at political matters. Then the topics chosen have a broader reach. Online mechanisms present the advantages of being cost efficient, they enhance
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