Introduction

Discussions of the power of the media commonly focus on two different sets of questions. The first is concerned with the nature of the power of the media. Do they change people's views and opinions? Do they influence people to believe in certain ways, e.g. buy Brand X of soap-powder or vote for Party Y in an election? Do they ‘shape the climate of opinion’ in society (and what specifically is implied by that statement)? Do they ‘set the agenda’ for society? Do they contribute to the ‘shaping and reproduction of the hegemony of the dominant values’ in society? These, and similar questions, focus on the impact of the media on society, both at the microand at the macro-levels, and result in a variety of explanations and analyses of ...

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