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Abstract

Abstract

This article studies the efficiency of different samples for content analysis of news in media effects studies by comparing the agenda-setting effect of a classic sample with the effect of a sample drawn based on audiences’ self-reported media habits. Contrary to the belief that exposure to sampled media content is necessary for observation of media effects, samples drawn based on overall readership/viewership of the media are more efficient than samples based on audiences’ actual consumption habits. A traditional media sample yields a stronger agenda-setting effect compared to a sample drawn based on self-reported media habits. But correlations between the two media samples are also strong. The findings suggest that a broad intermedia agenda-setting process makes it possible for researchers to draw a traditional sample that is representative of the issues salient to audiences regardless of their level of exposure to the sampled media. In other words, even in a demassified media environment, traditional samples are still the best option for media effects researchers.

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2021-12-21
2022-01-25
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: audience ; exposure ; media effects ; content analysis ; agenda setting ; sampling
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