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Agenda Setting Effects on Online Users: The analysis of the World Cup coverage and online discussions
Unformatted Document Text:  ^ has been the subject of agenda setting research. Even though online users meet the conditions of the public, their specific nature has the possibility of being different from that of the general public. Interpersonal or organizational communication researchers have pointed out the differences between the CMC (computer-mediated-communication) and the FTF (face-to-face communication) (Flaherty, Pearce and Rubin, 1998; Sproull and Kiesler, 1986). The superficial difference between online public users and the general public lies in their demography. James, Wotring, and Forrest’s (1995) study confirmed that online users are higher educated, wealthier, and work in more prestigious occupations than the general population. The other distinctive nature of online users is associated with the characteristics of the online communication. Newhagen and Rafaeli (1996) pointed out five qualities: multimedia, hypertext, packet switching, synchronicity, and interactivity. According to James, Wotring, and Forrest (1995), EBBs have five characteristics that could make them popular: a large audience, fast sending and retrieving of messages, transparent posting (weak gatekeeping), large variety of interest groups, and low cost. Due to these characteristics of online communication, online users are likely to access any information easily and be more active in exchanging their opinions than the public in general. In this sense, Roberts, Wanta, and Dzwo (2002) emphasized the possibility of a behavioral effect of agenda setting when it is applied to online users. For online users, they argued, the media agenda not only makes issues appear to be important, it also stimulates enough interest in the agenda so that online users feel compelled to bring issues to online forums for discussion.

Authors: Lee, Jong Hyuk. and Choi, Yun Jung.
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^
has been the subject of agenda setting research.
Even though online users meet the conditions of the public, their specific nature
has the possibility of being different from that of the general public. Interpersonal or
organizational communication researchers have pointed out the differences between the
CMC (computer-mediated-communication) and the FTF (face-to-face communication)
(Flaherty, Pearce and Rubin, 1998; Sproull and Kiesler, 1986). The superficial
difference between online public users and the general public lies in their demography.
James, Wotring, and Forrest’s (1995) study confirmed that online users are higher
educated, wealthier, and work in more prestigious occupations than the general
population.
The other distinctive nature of online users is associated with the characteristics
of the online communication. Newhagen and Rafaeli (1996) pointed out five qualities:
multimedia, hypertext, packet switching, synchronicity, and interactivity. According to
James, Wotring, and Forrest (1995), EBBs have five characteristics that could make
them popular: a large audience, fast sending and retrieving of messages, transparent
posting (weak gatekeeping), large variety of interest groups, and low cost. Due to these
characteristics of online communication, online users are likely to access any
information easily and be more active in exchanging their opinions than the public in
general.
In this sense, Roberts, Wanta, and Dzwo (2002) emphasized the possibility of a
behavioral effect of agenda setting when it is applied to online users. For online users,
they argued, the media agenda not only makes issues appear to be important, it also
stimulates enough interest in the agenda so that online users feel compelled to bring
issues to online forums for discussion.


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