OVER the decade and a half following publication of McCombsand Shaw's (1972) seminal work, the notion of agenda settinghas emerged as a central focus of research in communication generally and in political communication in particular. Studies within this framework have, by and large, concentrated on the linkage between the agenda of media content and that of public concern, and their essential argument has been that public attention will, over time, be channeled to those issues or actors who occupy time or space in the mass media.