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Agenda Setting Effects on Online Users: The analysis of the World Cup coverage and online discussions
Unformatted Document Text:  ] communication research. In this sense, in order to apply agenda setting to online sphere, we need to identify the nature of online communication and users. Can online users be regarded as the general public, and if so, is there any difference in the agenda setting effect between online users and the general public? Habermas (1998), an advocate of free speech and rational discourse, described the public sphere as a communication network in civil society that has deep links to people’s everyday experiences. It indicates that the public sphere is not limited to a specific physical place. Tanner (2001) examined the potential of a Chilean electronic bulletin board (EBB) as a public sphere during the arrest of ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998. The EBB, a representative online area, was investigated in terms of accessibility, freedom of speech, deliberate debate, and rational discourse. The conclusion was that the online users of the EBB played an important role in creating public opinion. Ogan’s (1993) study of the Turkish EBB, TEL (Turkish Electronic Mail List), suggested that the EBB users have a good sense of community, nation and the world by exchanging information and sharing experience. One of the TEL members described their online activities as this: People come and go, say a few witty things, argue politics, ask about help or information, share some news or an article they have recently read, or make announcements about something they are involved in (pp. 187) This draws the same picture that we have in our mind about the general public, which

Authors: Lee, Jong Hyuk. and Choi, Yun Jung.
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communication research.
In this sense, in order to apply agenda setting to online sphere, we need to identify
the nature of online communication and users. Can online users be regarded as the
general public, and if so, is there any difference in the agenda setting effect between
online users and the general public?
Habermas (1998), an advocate of free speech and rational discourse, described the
public sphere as a communication network in civil society that has deep links to
people’s everyday experiences. It indicates that the public sphere is not limited to a
specific physical place. Tanner (2001) examined the potential of a Chilean electronic
bulletin board (EBB) as a public sphere during the arrest of ex-dictator Augusto
Pinochet in 1998. The EBB, a representative online area, was investigated in terms of
accessibility, freedom of speech, deliberate debate, and rational discourse. The
conclusion was that the online users of the EBB played an important role in creating
public opinion.
Ogan’s (1993) study of the Turkish EBB, TEL (Turkish Electronic Mail List),
suggested that the EBB users have a good sense of community, nation and the world by
exchanging information and sharing experience. One of the TEL members described
their online activities as this:
People come and go, say a few witty things, argue politics, ask about help or
information, share some news or an article they have recently read, or make
announcements about something they are involved in (pp. 187)
This draws the same picture that we have in our mind about the general public, which


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