Agenda setting refers to the media effects processes that lead to what are perceived as the most important problems and issues facing a society. It is an important component of public opinion, and thus measuring it accurately is important to public policy deliberation and formation and to public opinion research.

The power to set the public agenda—determining the most important problems for discussion and action—is an essential part of any democratic system. This is so because agenda control is a fundamental lever of power and it is necessary to achieve citizen desires. If democracy is to be a meaningful concept, it must include the right of citizens to have their preferred agenda of topics taken up by policymakers. Leaders who ignore the topics that citizens consider ...

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