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International Coverage, Foreign Policy, and National Image: Exploring the Complexities of Media Coverage, Public Opinion, and Presidential Agenda
Unformatted Document Text:  EXPLORING THE COMPLEXITIES 7 addition, more recent studies examining a triangulation between the media, public opinion, and U.S. foreign policy have found connections between the salience of foreign affairs in the media and in public opinion (e.g., Kiousis & Wu, 2008; Soroka, 2003). Other than salience, a foreign country’s positive or negative image in the U.S. media can also exert considerable influence on public attitudes toward that country (Brewer, Graf & Willnat, 2003; McNelly & Izcaray, 1986). For example, Wanta and his colleagues (2004) examined whether the U.S. news coverage of foreign nations was able to influence perceptions of the other nations, and whether valence (positive or negative) in the news report had an influence on evaluations of the countries. They found that the more negative coverage a nation received, the more likely the public formed negative attitudes towards the country. In considering agenda-setting theory and literature reviewed above, we propose the following hypotheses: H 1 : The salience of the countries in public opinion is positively related to the salience of the countries in the media coverage. H 2 : The valence of the countries (positive and negative) in the media coverage is positively related to the attitudes toward the countries in public opinion. The Intersections of Media Agenda, Public Agenda, and Policy Agenda Influencing policy agenda has been viewed by many policymakers and researchers as one of the most important sources of political power (Anderson, 1978). McCombs and Shaw (1972) first recognized that the media does influence public policy through agenda-setting. Agenda-Setting outlines the impact of the mass media

Authors: Zhang, Cui.
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EXPLORING THE COMPLEXITIES
                                      7
addition, more recent studies examining a triangulation between the media, public 
opinion, and U.S. foreign policy have found connections between the salience of 
foreign affairs in the media and in public opinion (e.g., Kiousis & Wu, 2008; Soroka, 
2003). 
Other than salience, a foreign country’s positive or negative image in the U.S. 
media can also exert considerable influence on public attitudes toward that country 
(Brewer, Graf & Willnat, 2003; McNelly & Izcaray, 1986). For example, Wanta and 
his colleagues (2004) examined whether the U.S. news coverage of foreign nations 
was able to influence perceptions of the other nations, and whether valence (positive 
or negative) in the news report had an influence on evaluations of the countries. They 
found that the more negative coverage a nation received, the more likely the public 
formed negative attitudes towards the country. In considering agenda-setting theory 
and literature reviewed above, we propose the following hypotheses:
H
1
: The salience of the countries in public opinion is positively related to the 
salience of the countries in the media coverage.
H
2
: The valence of the countries (positive and negative) in the media coverage is 
positively related to the attitudes toward the countries in public opinion. 
The Intersections of Media Agenda, Public Agenda, and Policy Agenda
Influencing policy agenda has been viewed by many policymakers and 
researchers as one of the most important sources of political power (Anderson, 1978). 
McCombs and Shaw (1972) first recognized that the media does influence public 
policy through agenda-setting. Agenda-Setting outlines the impact of the mass media 


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