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A Study of Agenda-Setting Theory in Presidential Debates in Mexico’s 2000 Presidential Campaign
Unformatted Document Text:  35 shifts in what had been traditionally controlled by the regime, could have caused important changes in voter behavior. In previous Mexican elections media influence on the public was directed by selective coverage favoring the PRI regime. The media was controlled by the state to make sure that the coverage was favorable to the government and the party. Especially television took a longer time to open and be more inclusive in Mexico. In the 2000 election the media showed they had made a transition from then traditional regime- propaganda function to become an agenda-setting actor. Thus, what media regarded as important during the campaign is likely to prevail as a “setting” model for future coverage of campaigns and debates in Mexico. Final Comments Campaigns in the Future. Due to the importance of image and media coverage during the 2000 campaign, it is likely that political parties will choose candidates that reflect a “modern image” in terms of their attributes. Media involvement in future campaigns is also likely to increase. Media’s high profile in the 2000 was important as an element of a competitive election. Media was also a part of the gradual transition to democracy that Mexico experimented since the late eighties, and at the same time its transformation belongs to the transformation of the political, cultural and civic life of Mexicans in recent times. This more competitive media is likely to be part of future elections as well. Future research could focus on progressive campaign effects, and in ways that the 2000 campaign set new standards for campaigning, debating and covering. Public opinion research and media coverage analysis regarding perception of candidates if performed at the time of debates will lead to evaluate accurately relationships between those events and the final outcome of elections. Perceptions and expectations of

Authors: Mercado, Antonieta., Hellweg, Susan., Dozier, David. and Hofstetter, C..
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35
shifts in what had been traditionally controlled by the
regime, could have caused important changes in voter behavior.
In previous Mexican elections media influence on the public
was directed by selective coverage favoring the PRI regime.
The media was controlled by the state to make sure that the
coverage was favorable to the government and the party.
Especially television took a longer time to open and be more
inclusive in Mexico. In the 2000 election the media showed
they had made a transition from then traditional regime-
propaganda function to become an agenda-setting actor. Thus,
what media regarded as important during the campaign is likely
to prevail as a “setting” model for future coverage of
campaigns and debates in Mexico.
Final Comments
Campaigns in the Future. Due to the importance of image
and media coverage during the 2000 campaign, it is likely that
political parties will choose candidates that reflect a
“modern image” in terms of their attributes. Media involvement
in future campaigns is also likely to increase. Media’s high
profile in the 2000 was important as an element of a
competitive election. Media was also a part of the gradual
transition to democracy that Mexico experimented since the
late eighties, and at the same time its transformation belongs
to the transformation of the political, cultural and civic
life of Mexicans in recent times. This more competitive media
is likely to be part of future elections as well.
Future research could focus on progressive campaign
effects, and in ways that the 2000 campaign set new standards
for campaigning, debating and covering. Public opinion
research and media coverage analysis regarding perception of
candidates if performed at the time of debates will lead to
evaluate accurately relationships between those events and the
final outcome of elections. Perceptions and expectations of


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