The Third Level of Agenda Setting in Contemporary China: Tracking Descriptions of Moral and National Education (MNE) in Media Coverage and People’s Minds

Yang Cheng, Ching-Man Chan


This article investigates the third level of agenda setting during the anti–Moral and National Education movement in Hong Kong—a Chinese society—in the summer of 2012. Our content and network analyses focus on 532 newspaper articles and 342 public surveys describing the event. Evidence reveals a strong correlation between the media and online and off-line public attribute network agendas. Results also demonstrate that, at the third level, the media agenda can lose its influence on the setting of the off-line public agenda. Several contingent factors include the political stance and news media credibility. In addition, Hong Kong activists’ young age may influence the agenda-setting effects. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. 






attribute agenda setting, China, Hong Kong, conflict, network agenda setting, network analysis

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