Journal Article

Agenda‐Rich, Agenda‐Poor: A Cross‐National Comparative Investigation of Nominal and Thematic Public Agenda Diversity

Jochen Peter and Claes H. de Vreese

in International Journal of Public Opinion Research

Published on behalf of World Association for Public Opinion Research

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 44-64
Published in print March 2003 | ISSN: 0954-2892
Published online March 2003 | e-ISSN: 1471-6909 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/15.1.44
Agenda‐Rich, Agenda‐Poor: A Cross‐National Comparative Investigation of Nominal and Thematic Public Agenda Diversity

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  • Communication Studies
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This study is a cross‐national comparative investigation of (1) similarities and differences between nominal and thematic public agenda diversity both within and between countries; (2) potential general predictors of the two types of agenda diversity; and (3) the relationship between the agenda diversity of television news and nominal and thematic public agenda diversity. Drawing on representative, identical surveys conducted at the same point of time in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, we found that nominal agenda diversity was higher than thematic agenda diversity within the various countries. Between countries, both nominal and thematic agenda diversity varied considerably. Neither demographic variables nor media exposure and attention measures nor political interest turned out to be general predictors of the two types of agenda diversity in all of the countries. However, the number of television news outlets watched had a positive impact on both nominal and thematic agenda diversity in all countries except France. Linking content analysis of television news in each country to survey data, a positive relationship between news agenda diversity and public agenda diversity was found only for Denmark. Based on the findings, we suggest that the investigation of public agenda diversity should be rethought to enhance our understanding of public agenda diversity in particular and agenda‐setting in general.

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Subjects: Communication Studies ; Marketing ; Media and Communication ; Political Behaviour ; Social Research and Statistics

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