PA001 Agenda Setting
Phillip March 25, 2024 No Comments

PA001 Agenda Setting

PA001 Agenda Setting



NURS 6050 Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health

Prof. Name



The aim of this paper is to apply agenda-setting theory to examine the impact of various political television programs, such as CNN News, BBC News, Al Jazeera, NBC News, and MSNBC, on adolescents. Agenda-setting theory, developed by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw, posits that the media significantly influences the public agenda (Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks, 2019). This suggests that political TV shows may influence adolescents’ perceptions of the importance of certain topics on the public agenda, potentially leading to discussions on issues like terrorism, immigration, social injustices, and corruption. However, it is also possible that adolescents may discuss topics beyond their comprehension and develop divisive attitudes based on race and nationality.


Television remains a primary source of information on current political issues for many individuals, including adolescents. Political TV programs often highlight societal issues to engage viewers in discussions. Adolescents, who spend considerable time watching TV, may perceive these highlighted issues as more significant, which could lead to biased perceptions and negative attitudes toward certain groups. Political TV news tends to emphasize negative content, which can impact adolescent mental health (Holbert et al., 2007). Moreover, news coverage influences adolescents’ perceptions of issues such as terrorism, often leading to distorted beliefs (Kruikemeier & Shehata, 2017).

Theoretical Framework

Agenda-setting theory suggests that the media filters and shapes reality for audiences by highlighting selected topics based on their perceived appeal. Editors serve as gatekeepers, determining which content reaches the public (Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks, 2019). Media coverage influences public perceptions and policy agendas by highlighting certain issues while downplaying others. Agenda-setting is particularly crucial in politics, as it affects public opinion and policy decisions.

Literature Review

Research utilizing agenda-setting theory demonstrates how political TV news influences adolescents. These news stations shape discussions by often focusing on issues such as minority rights, elections, and political scandals. Coverage of events like the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal or the Iraq War impacts adolescent perceptions and behaviors (Yioutas & Segvic, 2003). Framing of political TV news can create biases and negative perceptions of politicians, which in turn influence adolescent attitudes and behaviors (Caulk, 2016).

Research Questions

  1. How can parents prevent their children from being influenced by political TV news?
  2. How do political TV news channels contribute to bias among politicians?

Case Study

Political TV news channels play a significant role in shaping public perception, especially during elections. For example, coverage of the 2016 US Presidential election portrayed candidates in specific lights, influencing voter opinions and behaviors (Faris et al., 2017). Gender biases are also perpetuated, affecting adolescent views on gender roles and political participation (Kaklamanidou & Tally, 2016).


Political TV news has a profound impact on adolescents’ perceptions, behaviors, and attitudes toward politicians and elections. Biased coverage and framing contribute to negative attitudes and behaviors among adolescents. Parents must monitor and guide adolescents’ media consumption to mitigate these influences.


Political TV news, through agenda-setting, shapes public perceptions and behaviors, including those of adolescents. Biased coverage and framing can lead to negative attitudes and behaviors among adolescents, underscoring the importance of parental guidance and media literacy education.


Caulk, N. (2016). Political news exposure and attitude polarization in adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 47, 129-139.

Faris, R., Roberts, H., Etling, B., Bourassa, N., Zuckerman, E., & Benkler, Y. (2017). Partisanship, propaganda, and disinformation: Online media and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved from

Griffin, E., Ledbetter, A., & Sparks, G. (2019). A first look at communication theory (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Holbert, R. L., Kwak, N., Shah, D. V., & Yang, S. U. (2007). Environmental concern, patterns of television viewing, and pro-environmental behaviors: Integrating models of media consumption and effects. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 51(4), 675-699.

NURS 6050 Assessment 1 PA001 Agenda Setting

Kaklamanidou, B., & Tally, M. (2016). From girl power to grrrls to queer girls: Gendered representations in Nickelodeon programming, 2001–2014. Popular Communication, 14(1), 1-18.

Kruikemeier, S., & Shehata, A. (2017). Examining the impact of news media exposure on issue knowledge: The case of the refugee crisis. Mass Communication and Society, 20(6), 825-848.

Yioutas, J., & Segvic, I. (2003). War and the changing agenda of presidential news conferences: A study of the Clinton presidency. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 80(4), 913-930.

NURS 6050 Assessment 1 PA001 Agenda Setting