Agenda setting and active audiences in online coverage of human trafficking

Article


Papadouka, M., Evangelopoulos, N. and Ignatow, G. 2016. Agenda setting and active audiences in online coverage of human trafficking. Information, Communication & Society. 19 (5), pp. 655-672. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1139615
TypeArticle
TitleAgenda setting and active audiences in online coverage of human trafficking
AuthorsPapadouka, M., Evangelopoulos, N. and Ignatow, G.
Abstract

Online news platforms and social media increasingly influence the public agenda on social issues such as human trafficking. Yet despite the popularity of online news and the availability of sophisticated tools for analyzing digital texts, little is known about the relations between news coverage of human trafficking and audiences’ reactions to and interpretations of such coverage. In this paper, we examine journalists’ and commenters’ topic choices in coverage and discussion of human trafficking in the British newspaper The Guardian from 2009 to 2014. We use latent semantic analysis to identify 11 topics discussed by both journalists and readers, and analyze each topic in terms of the degree to which journalists and readers agree or disagree in their topic preferences. We find that four topics were preferred equally by journalists and commenters, four were preferred by journalists, and three were preferred by commenters. Our findings suggest that theories of ‘agenda setting’ and of the ‘active audience’ are not mutually exclusive, and the scope of explanation of each depends partly on the specific topic or subtopic that is analyzed.

KeywordsHuman trafficking, online news, agenda setting, active audience, topic models, latent semantic analysis
LanguageEnglish
PublisherRoutledge
JournalInformation, Communication & Society
ISSN1369-118X
Electronic1468-4462
Publication dates
Online05 Feb 2016
Print03 May 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Mar 2019
Accepted28 Dec 2015
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Information, Communication and Society on 05/02/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1139615

Additional information

Technologies Section (ASA) Special Issue

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1139615
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