I’ve been working on agenda-setting research now for 5 years. Still, I am incredibly humbled to be on a journal article with Dr. Shaw and Dr. McCombs. The project that was just published in the Journal of Communication is the result work that spanned 1.5 years, tons of computer science and a lot of statistics. I was joined by the pioneer of network agenda setting, Lei Guo. We were interested in assessing the influences different types of media had on different types of people on social media. We chose Twitter, due to the extensive amount of chatter that exists. We fetched about 38 million Tweets about Romney and Obama. That was the easy part.
The hard part was A) separating “supporters” of candidates from the masses of Twitter and B) applying statistics that would allow us to see how those supporters’ agendas were influenced by different media. Here’s what we found: