alexa News Coverage of the Gulf Crisis and Public Opinion A Study of Agenda-Setting, Priming, and Framing
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): SHANTO IYENGAR, ADAM SIMON

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This article documents three types of media effects that operated on public opinion during the Persian Gulf crisis and war. First, the level of network news coverage matched the proportion of Gallup poll respondents naming the Gulf crisis as the nation's most important problem (agenda-setting). Second, use of data from the 1988, 1990, and 1991 National Election Studies (NES) shows that the weight respondents accorded foreign policy performance when evaluating George Bush significantly increased (priming) in the aftermath of the Gulf crisis. Third, content data (showing that network news coverage was preoccupied with military affairs and highly event oriented) and survey data are coupled to show that respondents reporting higher rates of exposure to television news expressed greater support for a military as opposed to a diplomatic response to the crisis (framing). In conclusion, it is suggested that these effects, in combination with the nature of the media's information sources, were conducive to legitimizing the administration's perspective on the crisis.

This article was published in Communication Research and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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