The Topic Makes a Difference: Hot Issues Online and Their Appearance in Mainstream Offline Media Coverage

By Yu Won Oh, Rebecca P. Yu and Sung Tae Kim.

Published by Journal of Communication and Media Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study examines possible differences across topics in how online venues set their own agendas. The 1,000 most frequent online phrases were classified into eight topic areas (i.e., politics, economy, society, science, international affairs, entertainment, religion, and others) to explore which hot phrases tended to be exclusively online, and which one, online venues or the print and broadcast media, was better at leading the issues in certain topic areas online. The results imply that while a significant portion of the politics, economy, and international affairs issues discussed online made appearances in traditional form media messages, certainly some topic areas suggest a unique role of online venues in developing issues. Also, there were significant mean differences across topics in the time lags on first mentioning a phrase and on the peak attention.

Keywords: Agenda-setting Time Lags, Internet Agenda, Print and Broadcast Media Coverage

The Journal of Communication and Media Studies, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 815.348KB).

Dr. Yu Won Oh

Associate Director, Debiasing and Lay Informatics Lab, Center for Applied Social Research, Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Yu Won Oh (PhD, University of Michigan) is an Associate Director of the Debiasing and Lay Informatics (DaLI) Lab at the Center for Applied Social Research in Norman, Oklahoma. Her current research focuses on the intersection of new media and civic communication with an emphasis on opinion expression, incivility, public deliberation, participatory democracy, and agenda development.

Rebecca P. Yu

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu City, Taiwan

Rebecca P. Yu (PhD, University of Michigan) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Technology at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. Her research lies at the intersection of social and political equality and communication technology. Her current research interests include social media use and political engagement, well-being, and social media use among older adults, and social technologies and college-going process among first-generation students.

Sung Tae Kim

Professor, School of Media and Communication, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

Sung Tae Kim (PhD, Indiana University) is a Professor in the School of Media and Communication at Korea University in South Korea and the chairperson of KISRC (Korea Internet and Social Research Center). His research interests include Internet and social media, political communication, and more recently big data analysis.