The Impact of Presidential Statements on Press Editorials Regarding U.S. China Policy, 1950-1984

Tsan-Kuo Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mass media have long been a major component in the U.S. foreign policy making process. Less known is the role played by the media in the flow of policy direction. The agenda-setting literature has consistently shown that the mass media are capable of influencing the public agenda, but has left the question of who sets the media agenda largely unanswered. The purpose of this study is to examine the causal relationship between foreign policy makers and media coverage of foreign policy issues in the context of U.S.-China relations from 1950 through 1984. The study predicted that in the making of U.S. China policy, foreign policy makers affected media coverage of the issue, not vice versa. The findings show that there was a positive and significant relationship between government China policy and media coverage of the issue during the study period. Using the Fourier analysis of time series, the study further provides some evidence suggesting that the causal flow, if any, in U.S. China policy making was from the government policy to the mass media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-509
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication Research
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989

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