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A Study of Agenda-Setting Theory in Presidential Debates in Mexico’s 2000 Presidential Campaign
Unformatted Document Text:  8 Hypothesis 4: The media candidate-attribute agenda affects the public’s candidate-attribute agenda regardless the content of debates. Hypothesis 5: The debate’s issue agenda affects the public’s issue agenda. Hypothesis 6: The debate’s candidate-attribute agenda affects the public’s candidate-attribute agenda. Artifacts and units of analysis. For the analysis of the newscast, videotapes containing the television news programs were examined. Those videotapes were obtained at the Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos (Mexican Academy of Human Rights). This non-government organization ran a watchdog program to monitor television news on the election. The unit of analysis used was each news story measured in seconds. There were two main lines of interest in each unit of analysis: the issue agenda and the image agenda. Several measures were developed to assess both. Categories content analyzed. Two important aspects of television coverage and debate content concerning the campaign were defined: the issue and the candidate attributes’ salience. It was possible to spot the most important issues concerning the political campaign in the news coverage and in the debate content. However, as important was to assess the image content of those newscasts in terms of their portrayal of the candidates. Since the focus of the media coverage analyzed were the debates, the content of television news programs was divided into two main categories of analysis: the mentions that are debate-specific and the mentions that are debate-related (following Collard, 1980). Debate-specific issues were those mentioned in newscasts about the debate

Authors: Mercado, Antonieta., Hellweg, Susan., Dozier, David. and Hofstetter, C..
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8
Hypothesis 4: The media candidate-attribute agenda affects
the public’s candidate-attribute agenda regardless
the content of debates.
Hypothesis 5: The debate’s issue agenda affects the public’s
issue agenda.
Hypothesis 6: The debate’s candidate-attribute agenda affects
the public’s candidate-attribute agenda.
Artifacts and units of analysis.
For the analysis of the newscast, videotapes containing
the television news programs were examined. Those videotapes
were obtained at the Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos
(Mexican Academy of Human Rights). This non-government
organization ran a watchdog program to monitor television news
on the election. The unit of analysis used was each news
story measured in seconds. There were two main lines of
interest in each unit of analysis: the issue agenda and the
image agenda. Several measures were developed to assess both.
Categories content analyzed. Two important aspects of
television coverage and debate content concerning the campaign
were defined: the issue and the candidate attributes’
salience. It was possible to spot the most important issues
concerning the political campaign in the news coverage and in
the debate content. However, as important was to assess the
image content of those newscasts in terms of their portrayal
of the candidates. Since the focus of the media coverage
analyzed were the debates, the content of television news
programs was divided into two main categories of analysis: the
mentions that are debate-specific and the mentions that are
debate-related (following Collard, 1980). Debate-specific
issues were those mentioned in newscasts about the debate


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