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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 5 & Hahn, 1986). Moreover, the president, by the nature of the office, has the opportunity to regularly communicate a specific agenda (Behr & Iyengar, 1985) which has an impact of public opinion (Gilbert, 1981). Cronin (1980) similarly argues that American democracy depends on open communication between the president and the public. The President and the Mass Media. In this role of news source, the president may play a major role in agenda-building, or influencing the news media (Gilberg et al., 1980; Lang & Lang, 1981; Weaver & Elliot, 1985; Turk; 1986; Robinson, 1990). A great deal of news originates from the press releases of official sources and the president is no different (Turk, 1986). Significantly, Turk (1986) found that one-fifth of White house news releases were used by the media. It has been argued that the president, as a source of news, may wield more influence on the mass media than the journalist themselves (Berkowitz, 1992). Sigal (1986) also found that news coverage rarely deviate from what official sources say. This gives the president a measure of control, specifically when working under regulated situations such as press conferences and photo opportunities, among other ceremonies (Ansolabehere, Behr, & Iyengar, 1993). Lacking media attention, the president would be virtually unable to forward an agenda, much less petition to the public for support (Graber, 1989). The agenda of the president may therefore have a bidirectional linkage with the agenda of the press, depending on the circumstances. The Mass Media and American Foreign Policy. Looking at daily newspapers or prime time news broadcasts it has become obvious that the mass media have become a significant force shaping cultural and political reality (O’Heffernan, 1991). Cohen (1963) found that the media worked closely with the foreign policy mechanism of the Untied States government during the early 1960s. The media were found to routinely support

Authors: Mitrook, Michael.
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Presidential PR efforts and Foreign Policy
5
& Hahn, 1986). Moreover, the president, by the nature of the office, has the opportunity
to regularly communicate a specific agenda (Behr & Iyengar, 1985) which has an impact
of public opinion (Gilbert, 1981). Cronin (1980) similarly argues that American
democracy depends on open communication between the president and the public.
The President and the Mass Media. In this role of news source, the president may play a
major role in agenda-building, or influencing the news media (Gilberg et al., 1980; Lang
& Lang, 1981; Weaver & Elliot, 1985; Turk; 1986; Robinson, 1990). A great deal of
news originates from the press releases of official sources and the president is no different
(Turk, 1986). Significantly, Turk (1986) found that one-fifth of White house news
releases were used by the media. It has been argued that the president, as a source of
news, may wield more influence on the mass media than the journalist themselves
(Berkowitz, 1992). Sigal (1986) also found that news coverage rarely deviate from what
official sources say. This gives the president a measure of control, specifically when
working under regulated situations such as press conferences and photo opportunities,
among other ceremonies (Ansolabehere, Behr, & Iyengar, 1993).
Lacking media attention, the president would be virtually unable to forward an
agenda, much less petition to the public for support (Graber, 1989). The agenda of the
president may therefore have a bidirectional linkage with the agenda of the press,
depending on the circumstances.
The Mass Media and American Foreign Policy. Looking at daily newspapers or prime
time news broadcasts it has become obvious that the mass media have become a
significant force shaping cultural and political reality (O’Heffernan, 1991). Cohen (1963)
found that the media worked closely with the foreign policy mechanism of the Untied
States government during the early 1960s. The media were found to routinely support


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