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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 7 played by the press, the president, and public opinion with regard to United States foreign affairs issues. Based on previous research the following hypotheses are proposed: H1) A two-way relationship will occur between the media agenda and public opinion, but the media-to-opinion relationship will occur with a shorter time lag than the opinion-to-media relationship. H2) A two-way relationship will occur between the public-relations agenda and public opinion, but the public-relations-to-opinion relationship will occur with a shorter time lag than the opinion-to-public-relations relationship. H3) The media agenda will have a one-way relationship with the public relations agenda. In addition to the hypotheses, this study asks the following research questions concerning the foreign affairs issue: R1) How did the media structure interpretations and presentations of issue and event information over time? R2) How did the president structure public relations interpretations and presentations of issue and event information over time? R3) How did the relationships of these agendas differ during the two administrations included in the study? METHOD Data The study incorporates four agenda measures for each month from January 1989 until December 1996. The presidential public relations agenda is operationalized as the monthly frequency of public mentions of foreign affairs issues by the president. The public opinion measure is the American public’s monthly opinion of foreign affairs issues

Authors: Mitrook, Michael.
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Presidential PR efforts and Foreign Policy
7
played by the press, the president, and public opinion with regard to United States foreign
affairs issues. Based on previous research the following hypotheses are proposed:
H1) A two-way relationship will occur between the media agenda and public
opinion, but the media-to-opinion relationship will occur with a shorter time lag
than the opinion-to-media relationship.
H2) A two-way relationship will occur between the public-relations agenda and
public opinion, but the public-relations-to-opinion relationship will occur with a
shorter time lag than the opinion-to-public-relations relationship.
H3) The media agenda will have a one-way relationship with the public relations
agenda.
In addition to the hypotheses, this study asks the following research questions
concerning the foreign affairs issue:
R1) How did the media structure interpretations and presentations of issue and
event information over time?
R2) How did the president structure public relations interpretations and
presentations of issue and event information over time?
R3) How did the relationships of these agendas differ during the two
administrations included in the study?
METHOD
Data
The study incorporates four agenda measures for each month from January 1989
until December 1996. The presidential public relations agenda is operationalized as the
monthly frequency of public mentions of foreign affairs issues by the president. The
public opinion measure is the American public’s monthly opinion of foreign affairs issues


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