Killer and victim issues: Issue competition in the agenda-setting process ofGerman television
Täter- und Opferthemen: Themenwettbewerb bei derProgrammfestlegung im deutschen Fernsehen
International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 7, 1995, 3
Investigated two models of issue competition in the mass media and in theproblem awareness of the public: The equal displacement model assumes that therise of one issue displaces all other issues on the agenda equally, whereas therestructuring model suggests that a "killer" issue will displace certain"victim" issues entirely, leaving the position of other issues untouched orenhanced. During 1986, a content analysis of all news items in the four mainWest German television news programs was carried out, and 53 weekly surveys ofthe current importance of 16 political issues were conducted, each with a randomrepresentative sample of 1,000 people. No killer issues affecting televisioncoverage were found, but some could be identified in the public agenda.Increased media coverage of these issues led to decreased public awareness ofother issues. Implications for agenda-setting theory and the political processare discussed.
V.K. - ZPID