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A Longitudinal Time Series Analysis of the Foreign Affairs Issue: Agendas of the President, the Media, the Public
Unformatted Document Text:  Presidential PR efforts and Foreign Policy 4 in the latter situation the public is likely to rely more heavily on the news media’s version of events as they occur. Time-series designs. Time-series designs are used to examine the differences between units in patterns of change, or to determine the effects of a change in one variable on another variable. In agenda setting research, a time-series analysis typically uses an aggregate measure as the unit of analysis. Such measures may be frequency of news stories, or the percentage of the population believing an issue is the country’s most important problem. Time-series designs in agenda-setting research build on trend studies by charting agenda-setting measures over long periods of time, then using correlation and regression to empirically quantify the relationships of those measures over time (Gonzenbach, 1995). The President and Public Opinion. The president is the key American political figure and receives the purality of media and public attention, as acknowledged by Graber (1982), Behr and Iyengar (1985) and others. It is logical to believe that the president, similar to the interaction of the mass media and public opinion, likewise affects and is affected by the mass media and public opinion. While Converse (1987) and Harris (2000) claim that public opinion affects the president and policy-making, the opposite effect may by true as well. Graber (1982) notes that from the president’s perspective, the linkage with the public is important because public support is necessary for the president’s political effectiveness and political survival. The president must be able to use public opinion as a persuasive tool (Edwards & Wayne, 1985). It is possible for the president to alter the public agenda by advocating certain legislative of moral positions using a variety of communication methods (Chapel, 1976). From the public’s viewpoint, the president provides leadership, security (Graber, 1982), and a solution to national problems (Denton

Authors: Mitrook, Michael.
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Presidential PR efforts and Foreign Policy
4
in the latter situation the public is likely to rely more heavily on the news media’s version
of events as they occur.
Time-series designs. Time-series designs are used to examine the differences between
units in patterns of change, or to determine the effects of a change in one variable on
another variable. In agenda setting research, a time-series analysis typically uses an
aggregate measure as the unit of analysis. Such measures may be frequency of news
stories, or the percentage of the population believing an issue is the country’s most
important problem. Time-series designs in agenda-setting research build on trend studies
by charting agenda-setting measures over long periods of time, then using correlation and
regression to empirically quantify the relationships of those measures over time
(Gonzenbach, 1995).
The President and Public Opinion. The president is the key American political figure and
receives the purality of media and public attention, as acknowledged by Graber (1982),
Behr and Iyengar (1985) and others. It is logical to believe that the president, similar to
the interaction of the mass media and public opinion, likewise affects and is affected by
the mass media and public opinion. While Converse (1987) and Harris (2000) claim that
public opinion affects the president and policy-making, the opposite effect may by true as
well.
Graber (1982) notes that from the president’s perspective, the linkage with the
public is important because public support is necessary for the president’s political
effectiveness and political survival. The president must be able to use public opinion as a
persuasive tool (Edwards & Wayne, 1985). It is possible for the president to alter the
public agenda by advocating certain legislative of moral positions using a variety of
communication methods (Chapel, 1976). From the public’s viewpoint, the president
provides leadership, security (Graber, 1982), and a solution to national problems (Denton


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