What is Scheduling Theory definition/concept

The means of communication , known as the fourth power, have a clear influence on the whole of society . A large part of the conversations we have on a daily basis are related to the information that comes to us through television, radio and the press. On this subject, there is a general theoretical framework  that can help us better understand the role of the media : the theory of scheduling or agenda setting.

Its creators and historical context

In 1972, Maxwell McCombs and Donald L Shaw launched the idea of ​​setting the media agenda in their book “The evolution of Agenda Setting”. Scheduling Theory

At that time, world news focused on three themes as a priority: Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes during the celebration of the 1972 Olympic Games; the Vietnam War was in its final stages and President Nixon was involved in the Watergate scandal.

Previously, the authors of this theory analyzed the 1968 presidential campaign in the United States and found that the political and social concerns of Americans were directly associated with information from the major media .

In the empirical observations carried out within the scope of this theory, it was demonstrated that the problems that were considered important to society as a whole fully coincided with the news propagated by the media .

For the media , relevant issues end up creating a public and a political agenda .

The general principle of this theory is quite simple: the news that is propagated in the media  conditions the citizens’ opinions. Thus, the media does not impose what we have to think about some subject, but somehow “forces” us to think about everything that is being publicized by the media agenda. From this initial idea, a series of general assessments was presented: Scheduling Theory

1) our mental schemes are a direct reflection of the media and do not always correspond to what happened in reality ;

2) much of what is important and what is secondary in our lives does not come from ourselves, but from the media agenda;

3) the communication process by which news is transmitted, also known as framing, not only determines what we think at a given moment, but also our vital attitude in general.

observing the conclusions

First, all information that is not integrated into the media agenda becomes non-existent. Second, people’s concerns are the effect of priorities on the media agenda (the media doesn’t tell people what interests people, but people end up being interested in what the media says). Scheduling Theory

For some communication analysts, McCombs and Shaw’s theory is no longer valid

The role of the com media in the 1970s and now has radically changed.

Currently, analysts believe that the media primarily fix what people say on social networks and, based on the data obtained, elaborate a media agenda.

Censorship and manipulation technique driven by money and power

At the same time, nowadays, certain media corporations governed by their own interests seek to install in society the issues that benefit political and economic groups linked to the environment. Scheduling Theory

They promote smear campaigns, omit street protests, or manipulate the impact of a given event, maximizing or minimizing it. There are even reports that deliberately lie based on fabricated rumors, or articles published with the aim of giving credibility to a testimony lacking in arguments.

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