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BACHELOR THESIS. Nadine Pelka. Agenda setting research in the Internet age
1 BACHELOR THESIS Nadine Pelka Agenda Setting Research in the Internet Age 2013
2 Faculty: Media BACHELOR THESIS Agenda Setting Research in the Internet Age Author: Nadine Pelka Course: Applied Media Seminar group: AM10wS2-B First examiner: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert J. Wierzbicki Second examiner: Constanze Hundt B.Eng. /M.A.
3 Faculty of Media BACHELOR THESIS Agenda-Setting research in the internet-age author: Ms. Nadine Pelka course of studies: Applied Media seminar group: AM10wS2-B first examiner: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert J. Wierzbicki second examiner: Constanze Hundt B. Eng. /M.A.
4 Bibliographical information Pelka, Nadine Agenda setting research in the internet age Agenda setting research in the internet age 53 pages, Hochschule Mittweida, University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Media, Bachelor thesis, 2013.
5 Table of contents V Table of contents Table of contents ... V List of figures ... VIII List of tables ... IX 2.1 Origin and core concept The concept of topics Properties of topics The four phases of agenda setting research Phase 1: The Chapell-Hill study Phase 2: Boundary conditions for Agenda setting effects Phase 3: Attributes and properties of the agenda setting Phase 4: Development of the media agenda Further components of the agenda setting Public agenda Policy agenda The interrelationships of the components Criticism of the theory The concept of knowledge The knowledge gap theory The uses and gratifications Theory Overview of online use in Germany The ARD / ZDF study Who uses the Internet? Motives for online use Cross-media information use Selection decisions on the Internet Digital Divide - Real Danger, or Just Theory? Professional journalism on the internet Citizen journalism on the internet Political influence on the internet Summary and outlook ... 51 Bibliography ... XI Declaration of independence ... XV List of abbreviations
6 Contents VI ed. Edition BITKOM Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media e.v. or for example or for example d. H. das heist et al. etc. Electronic Mail et alii et cetera f. following ff. ed. IT million MNT. o.v. PR continued published information technology millions of media users typology without author public relation see page see a etc. see also and so on compare% percent z. B. for example
7 Table of Contents VII
8 List of Figures VIII List of Figures Figure 1: The decision-making process of agendas at a glance (own illustration) Source: Jäckel, Figure 2: The digital society Source planung & analyze ... 36 Figure 3: Occasional use of Web2.0 applications Source: ARD / ZDF Online- Study ... 43 Figure 4: Which media do citizens use for political information Source: BITKOM study
9 List of Tables IX List of Tables Table 1: Development of online use in Germany (own illustration) Source: ARD / ZDF online study
10 Introduction 1 1 Introduction When a small group of students got together in 2009 to protest against the poor study conditions, no one suspected the far-reaching consequences of this small strike. They used the internet as a communication channel. Within a few days, protest groups organized themselves on Facebook and StudiVZ, and new dates for demonstrations were published on Twitter using hashtags. In this way, they set up a successful communication structure in a very short time. Through networking on the Internet, more and more young people became aware of this movement and joined it. It was no longer just demonstrated at one university in Vienna, but in many other places in Austria. After all, the response was so great that it expanded to Germany and eventually reached other European countries as well. In the course of time, this wave of demonstrations became more and more an issue in the media, and politics finally took up this topic and looked for proposed solutions. This example shows that networks can be able to steer the media and politics on certain topics. Before the Internet age, the "classic media" were considered to be the intermediary of information. With the development of Web 2.0 applications everyone is now his potential medium, since he can publish his relevant topics. This restructuring also has an impact on the media landscape and the political system. The agenda-setting research approach deals with the positioning of key topics and how these come about. The following bachelor thesis examines whether the internet can actually have agenda-setting effects in the classic sense. Furthermore, the extent to which the Internet has the potential to change the structure of topics in society, the media and politics is examined. In the following, the basics of agenda-setting research will first be explained and how it has developed further based on new research approaches. Then other sub-areas of media impact research that could be relevant for agenda setting in connection with the Internet will be discussed. The following chapter describes the changes in media usage through the Internet through various studies. Then the new public and the associated change in the main topics are dealt with. Finally, there is a résumé that outlines the future of agenda setting and thus rounds off the scientific consideration of the topic of agenda setting and the age of the Internet.
11 Agenda setting research 2 2 Agenda setting research 2.1 Origin and core idea As early as the early 1920s, people were concerned with the mass media and their effects on their recipients. In the early phase of media impact research, the mass medium was assumed to be a powerful factor; one had the idea of an automated mass of people who were helplessly at the mercy of persuasive effects (cf. Rhomberg 2008, 101). This idea of the mass media had largely to do with the political and social conditions of the time. Due to the First World War and the war propaganda associated with it and the constant political upheavals in the Weimar Republic, society felt unsafe and was only dependent on information from the newspapers. The first phase is also summarized under the term "strong media - weak recipients" (cf. Hermann 2009, 172). In the 1950s and 1960s the attitude in media impact research changed, which is probably closely related to the new development of the television set The new theory is based on ineffective media and strong recipients who are not directly dependent on media messages. Media impact research changed its opinion regarding the omnipotence of the media (cf. Hermann 2009, 174). One assumed an active audience, which the Filtered information that was related to their attitudes or world views. The focus was now more on the information services of the mass media and how well they succeed in informing their recipients (cf. Rhomberg 2008, 104 ff.) In the 1970s, completely new theses were developed, such as, d he knowledge gap theory, which will be discussed later in this chapter. On this basis, Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw formulated the agenda-setting theory hypothesis. The numerous quoted wording reflects the central idea: "(...) the press is significantly more than a purveyor of information. It may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its reader what to think about "(Cohen 1963, 13). Mass media do not directly influence what people think, but rather influence what they think about (cf. Maurer, 2010, 18). According to the agenda setting theory, the media provide certain content that people deal with. The core idea that the media determine which topics people deal with was by no means newly developed by McCombs and Shaw. The approach of the hypothesis is based on Walter
12 Agenda setting research 3 Lippmann traced back. In his work on "Public Opinion", which appeared as early as 1922, he described that the media serve as a guide. They give a distorted picture of reality, which the recipients can use for orientation. Here, however, Lippmann is more concerned with the structuring of attitudes and not a topic-setting function that focuses on agenda-setting research (cf. Maurer 2010, 18). From the resulting "classic approach" that the media agenda influences the audience's agenda, McCombs and Shaw constructed additional aspects: 1) Awareness model: The audience only becomes aware of a topic or a bundle of topics because the media is aware of it they report (cf. Burkart 2002, 250). 2) Salience model: The public perceives topics to be of different importance, since the media also emphasize these topics differently (cf. Burkart 2002, 251). 3) Priority model: Deepens the statement of the salience model and says that the priority of the media is reflected exactly on the audience agenda (cf. Burkart 2002, 250). In the last few decades she has continued to develop this research approach and many more empirical studies have been carried out. In addition to the basic thesis, there were additional agenda-setting effects and so-called intervening variables, which are described below. The topic of agenda-setting is not a theory that primarily deals with the various effects of attitudes and behaviors of the recipients. The reason why the theory was so revolutionary at the time was that it first dealt with the level of importance with which attention was paid to the subject published by the mass media. "It is about our attention, our knowledge and awareness of the problems we face in relation to the events, people, public issues and questions reported on a daily basis" (Schenk 2007, 194). Mass media determine which topics we put on our agenda, this process is called the thematization function in research. In American one speaks of "issue", which roughly means "topic". Salience is the degree of importance with which an issue is perceived on the personal agenda (cf. Rhomberg 2008, 110). Rather, "Issue" refers to a dispute that needs to be resolved. The topic term is therefore not sufficiently translated in German. To this day, researchers argue which one
13 Agenda setting research 4 German term best describes the properties of the word "issue". In English, Issue comprises political and social problems that are defined as follows: current topics and civic concerns linked to the national interest (cf. Eichorn 1996, 8). The extent to which a topic is relevant for the recipient decides, in addition to the level of personal concern, how intrusive or unobtrusive a topic is (obtrusive and unobtrusive). The individual can experience intrusive topics personally without having to resort to the medium. In his work "The Variable Nature of Media Influence", Zucker confirmed that personal experiences act as filters and can override the media (cf. Schenk 2007, 479). In contrast, unobtrusive topics, i.e. content and information that lie outside of the experience, are understood with the help of the media. So you achieve much stronger agenda-setting effects. Which issue is at the top of the agenda can be answered through opinion polls, in addition to the layout of a newspaper and how often the topic is raised in the media. The most popular analytical approach is the so-called Gallup question: "What is the most important problem facing the country today?" (see Rhomberg 2008, 110). It provides an insight into the issues that the US population is currently grappling with. The Gallup question is summarized and published in detail once a year (see also If one compares the responses of the citizens with the topics that the media dealt with and one finds similarities, this could in turn speak for agenda-setting effects Characteristics of topics How high the level The focus on a topic depends on the individual needs of the individual. However, there are some similarities, such as the above-mentioned intrusiveness or unobtrusiveness of a topic. Furthermore, a topic only becomes an "issue" if one deals with the content critically. Furthermore, in agenda-setting research it is irrelevant whether only one individual deals with a topic. Agenda-setting effects can only be achieved if a broad mass of people deals with a certain topic. That If this happens, the media must carry out reporting, which consequently as an event to the pulp te mass is transferred. Which topics seem particularly conspicuous or important can be divided into 3 categories: (1) Perceived Community Salience: the importance of a topic that is perceived by a person in public, (2) Interpersonal Salience: the frequency of a topic that is included in everyday communication, (3) intrapersonal salience: the personal importance of a topic (cf. Batinic 2008, 132). There is some kind of hierarchical relationship between these three types. If a person becomes aware of a certain topic in the media, he speaks to other people.
14 Agenda setting research 5 about it. This exchange can change or deepen one's own assessment of the event (cf. Eichhorn 1996, 10). The topics can also be categorized into specific categories. Eichhorn refers to the concept of the typology of issues developed by Neuman. They are divided into 4 different terms: (1) crisis, (2) symbolic crises, (3) problems and (4) non-problems. Crises are limited in time and usually affect a country and its population. Symbolic crises have no time limit and last for an indefinite period. Symbolic crises such as B. Unemployment cannot be limited in time, and it can change after a certain period of time. Non-problems vary in terms of attention between the media and the audience (cf. Eichhorn 1996, 9). The categorization of the topics helps the researchers with empirical studies and content analyzes in order to get an overview of which events can achieve particularly strong agenda-setting effects. The internet plays a certain role in interpersonal communication and the deepening of certain topics. Never before in the history of the media can the individual settings for an event or topic be published so quickly and extensively through blogs, comments and chats. The agenda setting depends on the extent to which a topic receives attention from the public. Due to the large number of news offers on the Internet, new topics are displacing older ones ever faster. Based on the hierarchical structure, the internet gives the population the chance to fall back on a multitude of topics, to discuss and deepen them. This creates the opportunity to expand one's knowledge and creates a completely new dynamic process on the part of the audience's agenda. 2.2 The four phases of agenda setting research Agenda setting and its empirical developments can be divided into four phases according to McCombs. Basic-Agenda-Setting represents the starting position with the Chapell-Hill study and describes the thematising function. In the second phase, the contingent conditions for agenda-setting effects are examined, i.e. which criteria can promote or impair thematization effects. The second-level agenda-setting phase deals with the attributes of events, topics and people and what properties these must have in order for agenda-setting effects to occur. The last phase deals with the media agenda and which people or institutions are behind it.
15 The Agenda Setting Research Phase 1: The Chapell-Hill Study When McCombs and Shaw put forward their thesis that the media do not decide how society thinks about a certain topic, but rather they decide which topic to talk about, it had to be checked first. Using an empirical study, they wanted to prove that the agenda setting theory actually exists. In 1968, during the American presidential election, they interviewed one hundred undecided voters in the small American town of Chapell-Hill. The question was: "What are you most concerned about these days? That is, regardless of what politicians say, what are the two or three main things which you think the government should concentrate on doing something about?" (Pürer, 2003, 375) The topics were put in an order, starting with the topic most frequently mentioned. At the same time, they carried out a content analysis of the media, using the newspapers and TV channels most frequently used by the test subjects. Altogether there were two news channels, four local newspapers and the evening news from CBS and NBC. An almost complete correspondence was found between the order of the topics in the audience's agenda and that of the media.McCombs and Shaw felt that this study confirmed their assumption that the media can actually determine what content society deals with. However, this study had to be further elaborated. For example, personal preferences and individual media usage would have to be examined in order to obtain even more precise information. The authors themselves found that they had not taken into account certain criteria and unpredictable influences in their study. On the one hand, there is greater interest in political events during an election campaign than at other times; on the other hand, voters were still undecided and therefore had a greater need for information. After all, McCombs and Shaw were able to assign the media a thematic function through their study - the media agenda thus influences the public agenda. Whether and which effects can also play a role in agenda-setting processes was not investigated. It would be interesting to check which sequence of topics in the online content corresponds to the topics in the media. Likewise, the attitudes of politicians and what impression they leave on Internet users. With a view to the federal election campaign in 2013 in particular, there is a good opportunity to examine the communicative processes between users and politicians using statistical surveys. Politicians' Facebook pages, Yotube links or blog entries mostly contain
16 Agenda setting research 7 only simple election campaign messages and no interactive dialogue. The younger "Internet" generation in particular would view this interpersonal exchange positively, as many no longer find the rigid one-sided communicative exchange in keeping with the times (see also 5.3). Through the personal communicative exchange of opinions, especially during election campaigns, politicians could achieve greater agenda-setting effects. Furthermore, the politician has the opportunity to increase his "power of opinion" through the Internet. There are no journalists in his way who select the information and only then publish it. After all, 37% of German citizens are of the opinion that the election campaign on the Internet is relevant for voting decisions (see Paefgen-Laß) Phase 2: Framework conditions for agenda-setting effects In the course of research development and several hundred studies, so-called intervening was found Variables that can influence the agenda setting process in terms of their strength. McCombs already stated that the mere assumption that agenda setting has a function of thematizing is not sufficient for long. Agenda-setting is not a universal process: "No one contends that agenda-setting is an influence process operating at all time and all places in all people" (McCombs 1976, 1). Rather, there are various factors such as the characteristics of the recipient, the message itself, and also the characteristics of the medium. The following describes the most important features and their influence on the agenda setting effect. First of all, it was examined which medium can have the strongest agenda-setting effects. To this end, one compared television news with newspapers and found that the newspapers achieved stronger effects, i.e. had greater similarities with the audience's agenda. Although television, with its visual images and stimuli, challenges the recipient's cognitive abilities more than other media, the topics are not transferred to the audience's agenda in such a targeted manner. One assumed rather short-term effects and gave television a spotlight effect. More recent studies assume that the agendas of the individual media differ and only an interaction of several media can achieve an agenda setting effect (cf. Maurer 2010, 51). Of course, it cannot be prevented that the presentation of certain topics automatically draws the audience's attention to them. So-called "lead stories", i.e. topics that appear directly in the headline, are considered to be particularly important and are therefore included in your own agenda more quickly. In the case of online news, one can assume that this is also the case, since they put the most important topics on the homepage. However, the Internet can update new topics much faster, such as a daily newspaper or a weekly magazine. When you are in
17 The agenda setting research 8 of a study compared users of print newspapers and online editions with one another, it turned out that online users consider fewer topics to be important, i.e. print readers (cf. Maurer 2010, 51). This phenomenon could speak for the fast pace of the Internet. On the other hand, an analysis by Leskovic carried out in 2009 confirms otherwise. The topics update faster, but they are saved on the Internet. For example, new messages in the blogosphere are discussed or taken up again over a longer period of time; this is not possible in the classic media, due to the displacement of new explosive topics (cf. Jäckel 2011, 202). It has not yet been clearly proven whether this is responsible for stronger or weaker agenda-setting effects on the Internet. In addition to the presentation, the seriousness of a newspaper can contribute to the effect of agenda-setting effects. A reputable newspaper has a higher truth content for the recipients and thus reinforces the thematizing function of the audience's agenda. It was also found that national and international issues produce stronger agenda setting effects than local issues. National and international news are unobtrusive topics (unobstrusiveness), as the individual automatically has a greater distance to this topic. Accordingly, they achieve greater agenda-setting effects (see also Section 2.1.1). If one examines recipients whose agendas largely coincide with the media agenda, one found certain coinciding socio-demographic characteristics. Relatedly, one can assume that, depending on age, gender or education, these groups have different agendas or some have no agenda-setting effects at all, since their user behavior with the media is different. People with a higher level of education tend to find out more about topics that they consider important. An important indicator for agenda-setting effects in research is the recipient's need for orientation. McCombs and Shaw deliberately asked undecided voters in the Chapell-Hill study because they believed they could achieve greater effects faster. Based on this assumption, it was assumed that the need for orientation increases all the more if a recipient considers a topic to be important, but is still uncertain about his or her opinions. As a result, the need for information increases when it is obtained from the media. According to the agenda-setting theory, this in turn has an impact on the individual's function of addressing issues. The increased use of media also increases the need for interpersonal communication, as you want to discuss and exchange your opinions with other people. "(...) both communication modes then have an influence in the second step on the strength of the agenda-setting effects for the recipient" (Pürer 2003, 379). Another intervening variable is the personal involvement of the recipient. The more the recipient is involved in a topic, the more he would like to know about it on a regular basis, consequently it increases the agenda setting effect. Furthermore, a recipient with a personal involvement on a topic also has a certain prior knowledge, she
18 Agenda setting research 9 can therefore better empathize with the topic. On the other hand, through their previous knowledge, they have also developed established attitudes that are difficult to reverse. One can therefore assume that not only the media agenda but also the personal agenda can influence the "overall agenda". With regard to the Internet, in which the user has the opportunity to delve deeper into the topic due to the large amount of information, there may be a risk that a common agenda is no longer possible. Internet users are no longer dependent on the evening news in which the top topics of the day are discussed. Critics assume a social fragmentation in which everyone can build their own individual agenda. On the other hand, it speaks that the Internet unites all the important elements for a successful agenda setting, namely information, journalism and the exchange through interpersonal communication. Furthermore, it has been found that the real situation of events and the media coverage do not always coincide or that there may be shifts. Statistical surveys and the frequency of media coverage are often postponed, for example with the number of unemployed within a country or drug abuse. Although the media are increasingly providing information about an increase in unemployment, it is not as frequent about a decrease. It can also happen that the media report on events that have long since calmed down. However, it again shows that the public agenda follows the media agenda and not the so-called reality indicators (cf. Maurer 2010, 55). As a result, positive effects can also be achieved, which the following examples show. In October 1984, during a news broadcast in America, a television report about the famine in Ethiopia was broadcast. Shortly afterwards, the willingness to donate increased rapidly and many people became politically active, classified this problem as very important personally and consequently had it at the top of their agenda (cf. Pürer 2003, 381). A current example is the flood disaster in 2013, in which the media repeatedly emphasized the willingness and mobilization of helpers through the Internet in the disaster areas. Many people tweet or set up groups in social networks to start calls for help or to inform the population personally about the current situation. This shows what a positive and quick agenda setting effect the internet can have. By adapting the media, this development shows that the public agenda can influence the media agenda through the Internet. The intervening variables show signs of effects that can strengthen or inhibit the agenda-setting process. Both the presentation of the media coverage and the characteristics of the media can play a certain role. Personal experiences and attitudes must also be taken into account.
19 Agenda setting research Phase 3: Attributes and properties of agenda setting This phase is referred to in the literature as second level agenda setting. It deals with which attributes, such as topics, events and people, can be related to one another. The purely thematic function of the agenda setting is no longer in the foreground, rather media effects are examined on the second level and integrated into this theory. In addition, the focus is now on the recipients and what personal conclusions and consequences they draw from the media coverage. Second-level agenda setting is often associated with the research approach "framing". In journalism, content is edited by communicators, be it journalists, authors or bloggers, before it is published. This group mostly adheres to their personal writing style and rather publish topics that are close to their attitudes and ideas. For example, a journalist who represents the left politically would be more likely to write about the SPD than about the CDU. This in no way means that journalism has a manipulative character, since journalists are mandated to conduct sufficient research in order to publish the greatest possible truthfulness. This group of communicators has the option of choosing a message that ultimately reaches the recipient. Critics of the Internet would claim that the information overload on the Internet poses a risk of manipulative attitude changes. However, it must be taken into account that the recipients question topics, reflect with the help of their previous knowledge, do not consider every source as suitable or serious and they will not adopt them 1: 1 in their opinions. However, it has been observed in framing research that "[..] certain problem definitions, causal interpretations, moral evaluations or recommendations for action [through communicative messages] are suggested, [in addition], aspects of reality (topics, arguments, evaluations, etc.) are emphasized and thus made more accessible to the recipients (accessibility effect) "(Maurer 2010, 79). To illustrate this process, a few examples are given below. Kolmer and Semetko observed the reporting of various international news channels such as CNN and Al-Jazeera, About the Iraq war, especially in the first few months. Although the main topic on all news channels was the military conflict and conduct of the war, opponents of the war emphasized the political background and aspects of the war more than other channels - at the national and cultural levels Background can certainly be subc hiede exist in reporting. The recipient therefore has different scope for interpretation. The same applies to certain key terms that the media repeatedly take up in a certain context. So you can call the Iran war also as a war on counter-terrorism or as an American war
20 Agenda setting research 11 Describing the war of revenge. The reporting can therefore be embedded in a certain interpretation framework and particularly highlight certain problems or content. "The Impact of media framing and priming on audience member's interpretations of issues while simultaneously supporting the contention that individual considerations mediate a message's ability to influence interpretation" (Shah et al. 1997, 525) Phase 4: Development of the media agenda After the thematization function, as well Attitudes of people, topics and effects of various influences have been examined, the fourth phase focuses on the development of the media agenda. What news factors are there related to agenda setting and what role do media organizations play? Every day we get new headlines, new and explosive topics replace the old ones. The more explosive and relevant a topic is, the more frequently and intensively it is reported on. Especially in the event of political crises or natural disasters, e.g. B. the earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima. We not only receive detailed information, but also a lot of visual impressions about the relevant topics. Mass media are the main source of information for most citizens. Reality is reflected in a media construction. If you consider that around three quarters of the events that actually happened do not become a topic in the media, but only a quarter flow into the reporting, it should be examined which news factors and decision-making processes play a role in the media organizations (cf. Rhomberg 2008 , 443). News productions not only simply reflect reality, but they are researched, evaluated and summarized by journalists, they reproduce the actual events with their own means. In addition to the events, they can bring up and discuss certain "issues". They have the opportunity to emphasize certain aspects, for example certain characteristics of a person. Journalists are therefore referred to as gatekeepers in communication research. But which external influences play a role in the selection decision? First of all, for reasons of space and length of the newspaper, certain topics have to be selected. The individual line of the respective newspaper also plays a role. Through various studies, it was found that there is a high degree of conformity in the media content, since many journalists orientate themselves to other newspapers, especially local newspapers to the larger ones (cf. Rhomberg 2008, 122). Another selection mechanism on the media agenda is the news value theory approach. The focus here is on
21 The Agenda Setting Research 12 the news and not the media organizations or individuals. Certain news factors influence media selection decisions. The characteristics are cultural proximity, surprise, topicality, reference to the locality or nationality, so-called elite people (celebrities, politicians, etc.), the duration of an event, the return of this topic to the media agenda and the negative reporting. The higher the news factor of an event, the more likely it will become a topic in the mass media. An example with very high news factors was certainly the events on September 11th. These events, which everyone can remember very well, had a central influence on the perception of many people. Subsequent to this catastrophe, topics such as the fight against terrorism, the impending danger of Islamist radicalization, but also the political decisions to wage war against Iraq moved up to the top of the media's agendas. In order to turn a content into a strong topic in the media, it has to be continued within the reporting, this theory is referred to as intermedia agenda setting."The diffusion of news stories, including angels as well as topics, among the news media themselves" (McCombs 1997, 86). In doing so, they are initially guided by other media and how often and intensively this topic is dealt with. So-called prestige media, i.e. media with sophisticated sources, e.g. B. the Tagesschau or the German press agency, are primarily observed. They function as "gateways" for setting topics, since journalistic perception is directed towards them (cf. Dearing / Rogers 1996, 33). In addition, recognized journalists will also observe who they have acquired special knowledge on certain topics. Due to the increase in online activities in recent years, some things have changed in the area of the research media agenda. The role of journalists as gatekeepers has been severely weakened by competition from bloggers and citizen journalism. The enormous flood of information on the Internet also has a strong influence on selection decisions. This will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter. 2.3 Further components of the agenda setting Public agenda In its original form, the agenda setting hypothesis assumes that the priority of the mass media is taken over by each individual recipient. However, because of the individuality of the individual, an exact and, above all, uniform reflection of the media agenda cannot be possible. The public agenda deals with the ranking of topics that the recipients consider important.
22 Agenda setting research 13. As already mentioned in the Media Agenda chapter, the mass media are reconstructing reality. This is taken up by the recipient and processed according to his experiences and ideas. As already described in the previous chapter, a distinction is first made between "Individual Issue Salience", "Community Issue Salience" and "Perceived Issue Salience" (cf. McCombs 1977, 92). The first includes the recipient's assessment of the topic, the second is about the interpersonal agenda, i.e. topics that are most frequently exchanged with others. "Perceived Issue Salience" is about the perceptions of people who assess the priority of other issues. Since each recipient can determine which topics he is interested in, it is surprising that the agenda setting research in many studies found a high degree of agreement within the audience's agenda. One explanation in research is the importance of interpersonal communication. Accordingly, recipients pass on important topics to other people or social classes who rarely or never use the respective medium. "(...) individual priority of topics is consequently triggered after reception - not because the media have only minor agenda-setting effects, but because they have such great effects that even those can be reached who did not use them themselves (Maurer 2010, 59 ff) The exchange of information plays an important role in the Internet in particular, and the function of addressing the agenda setting could be lost because the Internet has developed its own dynamic and does not have an orderly structure like a news program that The Internet does not have the communicative property of the stimulus-response model, in which the media message acts as a stimulus and reaches the recipient through its effect, who then processes and saves the content to search for content independently. The selection process is therefore much more pronounced than in the other media, because he has to steer them independently in order to get to the relevant topics. Assuming the importance of interpersonal communication for agenda-setting effects, the Internet can produce positive results, as explosive topics are quickly spread through the communicative exchange and can even penetrate the media agenda. This phenomenon of the reverse influence between the public agenda and the media agenda will be discussed in more detail in the last chapter using examples. Policy agenda Politicians in a democratic society are dependent on the opinions of the people. Only a party that addresses the most relevant issues and wants to implement them has the best chance of emerging from an election campaign as a winner.
23 Agenda setting research 14 The media play an important role in this, because they not only present the appearance of a politician or a party, but also act as the most important source of information for citizens, who will use them to make their decisions when making an election. Parties try to position their issues so strongly that they appear in the most important media agendas; this process is known as agenda building. The political actors try to influence the media agenda in order to reach the public agenda. "Policy agenda setting postulates a direct connection between political media reporting and the opinion-forming process within the parties in the government and thus describes a direct channel between the media agenda and the policy agenda" (Rhomberg 2008, 128). This is not so easy at all, since not every person shows political interest and continuously observes what is going on in politics. Of course, each party has PR professionals who are busy spreading their agendas successfully. There are 3 possibilities: The agenda setting, i.e. setting the topics so successfully that their own party or individual politicians are perceived positively by the media through the media coverage and thus deficits in the opposing party are identified. On the other hand, they try to keep certain topics out of the public eye, where the candidate or the party has a bad image and thus other parties are assigned higher competencies. This process is known as agenda cutting. Furthermore, there are topics that are so intrusive that they cannot be suppressed in the topic agenda; these topics are put on the political agenda in order to benefit from them (cf. Brettschneider 2002). A good example of agenda surfing is the reactor accident in Fukushima. Since the voices against nuclear power in Germany became louder and louder, the members of the CDU, the former proponents of nuclear power, decided in favor of a complete energy revolution. To what extent it is possible for politics to have a direct influence on the public agenda, Tan and Weaver examined in a study. They examined the agendas of the New York Times, Congress and the American population between 1946 and 2004. They bundled a total of 19 topics, such as B. Defense and Labor and found links between the policy agenda and the media agenda. However, they found only minor influences from the policy agenda on the public agenda, from which it can be concluded that the media agenda has significantly more influence on the public agenda (Maurer 2010, 67). In addition to agenda building, it is just as important for a politician to specifically address the wishes and ideas of the citizens. In addition to opinion polls, they need to pay close attention to what is happening in the newspapers, the news or what is happening on the Internet. In the internet age in particular, it is important for politicians to get involved. They use blogs or Facebook pages to reach citizens. Barack Obama was a pioneer in the political use of the Internet in his 2008 election campaign. Under the premise
24 Agenda setting research 15 "Obama Everywhere" he used all important social platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc. to spread his messages and give citizens the chance to exchange their opinions. Among other things, a YouTube song with the well-known singer will.i.am was recorded that has been viewed by over 5 million people to date (see WeCan). Excursus: Priming Every 4 years the citizen can cast his vote with which he can elect the political government. In order to make a correct and optimal decision, he must compare all relevant judgment criteria with his ideas. In order to collect all relevant information for one's judgment, the effort would be enormous, therefore this procedure is impossible, since it would overwhelm the processing ability of humans (cf. Maurer 2010, 73). In a study by Shanto Iyengar and Donald Kinder, it was discovered that topics that are highlighted in the media are then viewed as particularly important by the recipients. These topics are then transferred in a second effect (priming) to political persons or members of government. For example, as a result of the economic crisis, media coverage reports more on economic issues and crises, so the recipients take a closer look at the economic competencies of the individual politicians. "If a topic is reported particularly frequently in the media (" primed "), the presumed competence of a politician in this area becomes more relevant for the overall judgment of him" (Maurer 2010, 73). Depending on whether the politician is assigned positive or negative economic competencies, his overall judgment is also different. Decision-making is thus simplified as certain topics appear more prominent in media coverage. They are included in the formation of judgments and linked to political events. Politicians try to use priming effects for their own benefit. They try to focus on certain subject areas in which the population perceives them as particularly competent. This measure is called image priming. In further investigations of priming effects, Maurer and Reinemann developed a multi-stage model. In election campaigns, media coverage influences which characteristics and topics a candidate is ascribed to in the first stage. On the second level, it is examined whether the subjects or the personality traits of the candidate influence the overall impression. The third level finally deals with the question of what role the candidates play in the voting decision (cf. Maurer 2010, 76).
25 Agenda setting research The interrelationships of the components As already described in the previous chapter, the three agendas, policy, audience and media, influence each other. In order to underline the basic thesis of the agenda setting that the media agenda has an influence on the audience's agenda, the two agendas must be related to each other. To make it easier to understand how this is implemented in research, the procedure is briefly explained below. The two most important research models in agenda setting are cross-sectional analysis and longitudinal analysis. Before that, content analyzes are collected in the media agenda, they check which topics the media have dealt with recently and arrange them according to their frequency. Representative surveys are carried out when the audience agenda is surveyed. The basis of every agenda setting study is the hierarchical level of the topics of each main component. Topics of the audience and media agenda have to be sorted under the influence of so-called "real-world indicators". They reflect the objective reality, they are statistics, such as B. Crime Rate. In contrast to journalistic articles, these indicators are facts, as they do not depict the content a second time. One of the most important polls for surveying the audience agenda is the Gallup question mentioned in Chapter. Funkhouser carried out one of the first longitudinal section analyzes in the area of agenda setting research. From 1960 to 1970 he examined all relevant issues in the audience agenda and media agenda and linked them with the Gallup question and the content of several renowned magazines, such as Newsweek or Times, in doing so he found strong connections between the two agendas (cf. Geise 2011, 146) . In contrast to the cross-sectional analysis, the longitudinal analysis gives you the option of comparing the issues of the agendas at at least two points in time. This not only increases the probability of an effect, but permanent agenda-setting processes can also be observed. In the cross-sectional design, the media agenda and the audience agenda are only compared at one point in time. Although this analysis is easier to carry out, it reduces a causal relationship, since the assumption of an agenda-setting effect is only permissible if the [...] "assumed cause precedes the assumed effect" (Maurer 2010, 33). This connection again underlines the acceptance of the agenda setting thesis, since the public agenda reacts to the issues of the media with a time delay. But how is it possible that the public agenda can also influence the media agenda? If one looks at interest groups, in order to convey their concerns to the public in political decision-making processes, they would have to be interested in which topics the media are propagating (cf. Eichorn, 2005, 118). Eichhorn goes on to explain that in order to bring your interests to the social level, you have to pay attention to three things: (1) Your topics have to get into the public discussion, (2) Your own interests have to be presented positively, (3)
26 Agenda setting research 17 certain topics that represent the opposite of one's own interests must be kept out of the discussion (cf. Eichorn 2005, 118). The journalistic gatekeepers also function between the audience agenda and the media agenda; they can select topics and process them accordingly (see: Phase 4: Creation of the media agenda). An overview of the development process of agendas Negotiations in the political system Investigative journalism Agenda building, public relations POLITICAL INSTANCES Agenda Dialogue with citizens Political participation Intermedia agenda setting Mass media Agenda agenda setting Response from the audience Audience agenda interpersonal communication Figure 1: The decision-making process for agendas at a glance (own illustration) Source: Jäckel, 219 The Internet, on the other hand, has no such "barriers"; networks can be formed to bring one's interests to the public. Non-governmental organizations in particular use the Internet to publish their interests or to draw attention to grievances. For example, shortly before the European Football Championship in 2011, animal rights activists reported that stray dogs were killed en masse.
27 Agenda setting research 18. This aroused so much outrage among Internet users that the media reported on it and the Ukrainian government finally spoke up. This example shows a chain reaction. Topics move from the audience agenda to the media agenda and finally to the policy agenda, which in turn causes greater attention on the part of the recipients. Within the media agenda, the above-mentioned factors, the intermedia agenda setting, play an important role. Due to their central position, the leading media facilitate follow-up communication within interpersonal communication, for example blogs comment on topics from the media and deepen them. Furthermore, it relieves the audience to get connected to topics and then to exchange them with others (cf. Jäckel 2011, 218). To get another overview of which interrelationships between the individual agendas and which factors play a role in their development, see Fig. Criticism of the theory By researching the agenda-setting theory, one now completely broke away from the "omnipotence" of the media and the common one "Stimulus-response model. According to the Chapell-Hill study, numerous researchers deal with this theory, which continues to this day and is by no means exhausted. However, there are numerous studies with different agenda-setting effects. Agenda-setting is susceptible to failure." sensitive, so a final result that the media agenda influences the audience agenda cannot yet be discussed (cf. Rhomberg 2008, 524). On the one hand, it is due to the fact that there are still no uniform study patterns (length analysis, cross-sectional analysis, etc.) and many terms and contents are rated differently to this day, e.g. the English word "issue" v on McCombs and Shaw. In addition, studies to check the agenda-setting effect cannot be foreseen, since certain crises, catastrophes etc. can occur at any time that occupy the entire agenda, for example September 11th, Fukushima or BSE. On the other hand, one cannot expect that the order of the agendas will be taken over equally strongly by the media from every single recipient. The audience agenda is made up of many individual topics from each individual, who also use the different media differently (cf. Maurer 2010, 57). Research agrees on the two areas in which agenda setting research has to be distinguished: (1) Social agenda setting, for statements with media and audience data, and (2) individual agenda setting, for statements with media - and audience data on an individual level (cf. Rhomberg 2008, 524). Agenda-setting effects based on the individual level in particular still have some catching up to do. If one examines the processing of information and the effects of the recipients of media contributions, one can
28 Agenda setting research 19 assume that they are understood differently and individually integrated into their ideas (cf. Maurer 2010, 59). With regard to the relatively new medium of the Internet, which requires completely different user behavior than other media, the question must be asked whether one can still assume a uniform media and public agenda in the future.
29 Further Sub-Areas of Media Effects Research 20 3 Further Sub-Areas of Media Effects Research 3.1 The Concept of Knowledge The concept of knowledge has become increasingly important in sociology. Especially with regard to the media and social change of the last 50 years. "Growing up in the modern age means living in a society that offers many options" (Batinic 2008, 368). Society is increasingly detaching itself from conventions and institutions, the best example of which is the declining number of church members. Never before in the history of mankind can people develop their individuality as freely as they do today. This is not only due to the peaceful political situation in Europe, but also due to the enormous progress made in technology. In the 20th century. Machines were increasingly replacing physical work and society had to learn to deal with the achievements of the age of technology. The further you go into the future, the social and cultural structures have become more and more complex. The knowledge and need for information came more and more to the fore. But what exactly is knowledge? Through what or by whom can we expand our knowledge? And what role do the media play in this? Primarily there is no uniform definition of "knowledge". This is because knowledge can be transmitted and absorbed in a variety of ways. A general definition of "knowledge" is provided here: "State of knowledge, a certainty with regard to knowledge of objects or processes" (Favre-Bulle 2001, 95). There are numerous other definitions associated with cognitive traits in science. However, only a few definitions that can be inferred in relation to the media are explained here. "What we know about our society, yes about the world in which we live, we know through the mass media" (Luhmann 2004, 9). This much-cited sentence by Luhmann is easy to understand, but this sentence is not enough to understand the complicated construct of knowledge. After all, haven't we learned the individual knowledge that we have acquired all our lives through, among other things, personal experiences and our environment? However, mass media give incentives to deepen and acquire new knowledge. Media can convey information that can be disseminated through interpersonal communication. In this context, too, one speaks of conversational knowledge. Knowledge is brought out by the individual through the media and passed on through conversations, discussions and exchange of views, so one can speak of collective knowledge based on the media (cf.Russmann,
30 Further sub-areas of media effects research, 92). So it is an interplay of media and communicative elements in which we can learn knowledge. As already discussed in Chapter 2, one speaks of unobtrusive and intrusive topics (obstrusive, unobstrusive). Unobtrusive topics are content that the individual has not personally experienced. So the person has to go back to the media to get more information. In connection with the media and what we store from it as information in connection with the communicative exchange with one another, it is the world knowledge that we store. Knowledge of political events, cultural content or other events in the world would therefore not be possible through interpersonal communication and the media. The Internet unites interpersonal communication and is a comprehensive store of information. Due to the large amount of information, it can expand knowledge and change attitudes through the interpersonal communication options. 3.2 The knowledge gap theory In addition to the possibility of entertainment, media are associated with the transmission of information. In a democratic system, the media have the task of establishing public opinion, but also of conveying values and norms. One also speaks of social integration through the mass media. this means that every person has the same right to participate in public events. Furthermore, he will filter and evaluate information according to his personal choice of media. Mass media can contribute to the formation of political will. The responsible citizen forms a judgment and thus makes a contribution to the continued existence of an informed public (cf. Jäckel 2011, 325). The media can also be ascribed three functions, the transmission of information, the resulting individual formation of opinions and the following criticism of the political system as a control function; the fourth estate is also often spoken of. In reality, however, it cannot be expected that every citizen is fully informed and involved in political events. It is precisely this ideal balance that calls into question the knowledge gap theory. The researchers Philipp Tichenor, George Donohue and Clarice Olien from Minesota University described the knowledge gap hypothesis in a paper: "As the infusion of mass media information into a social system increase, segments of the population with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments, so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease "(Jäckel 2011, 324.) If the flow of information grows, the population with a higher social or economic status can access the information better than those with a lower level of education. This would mean that the variety of information, especially due to the ever increasing use of the Internet, in our
31 Other areas of media impact research 22 society has increased. The knowledge gap within the population would increase rather than decrease. Furthermore, the researchers around Tichenor tried to find the causes for this phenomenon. First and foremost, they found that the higher-status layers had more information-rich media, such as B. Use newspapers than those with the socio-economic lower status, who mainly use television. In addition, the higher status population is more sensitive to new topics and their prior knowledge makes them more motivated to take up new topics. Finally, their communication and media skills are more differentiated and thus their media use is all the more diverse (cf. Batinic 2008, 139). 3.3 The Uses and Gratifications Theory In most of the scientific theories about the media, researchers investigate what effects the media have on people. The Uses and Gratifications approach deals with the opposite question, namely what effects do people have on the media. It is about the active search for certain content, so one assumes an active audience who use the media consumption for themselves and specifically search for certain media content (cf. Kunczik / Zipfel 2001, 343). As early as the 1940s, researchers were concerned with what usage behavior recipients were following. For example, during a newspaper strike in the United States in 1949, the question was asked what readers missed most. The most popular responses were things like information about political events, entertainment, providing information for the necessary topics of conversation and help in everyday life (e.g. the stock market news) (cf. Kunczik et al. 2001, 343). From a large number of studies and opinion polls, the following assumptions were made: (1) The audience is active and targeted in terms of their media choice, so they are aware of which medium they choose, (2) the recipients choose the media, not the other way around , (3) Media serve to satisfy needs and they are definitely in competition with other alternatives (e.g. meeting friends), and (4) recipients are able to justify why they have chosen the respective medium (cf. Batinic 2008 , 113 f.) A 2010 study by the Federal Statistical Office shows the Internet activities of private users, according to age and gender. In terms of gender, there were no great differences in internet usage behavior. Only for some specific topics that are more gender-typical. For example, 64% of women searched the internet for specific health topics, in contrast to men, for whom the proportion was 49%. The same behavior was observed when playing on the Internet, in which the proportion of men was 47%, but only 23% of women. The trend to pass on messages via online networks and forums is evident in Germany.
32 Further sub-areas of media impact research 23 among the younger generation. This trend was most popular among 10 to 24-year-olds; the need to send messages via these platforms decreased the older they got. Overall, however, it can be said that the most common activities for private purposes on the Internet were searching for information and communicating. 87% of the respondents stated that they use the Internet to send and receive e-mails, or to exchange information on other communicative networks. 89% used the Internet to search for information (cf. Oehmichen / Schröter 2010). In contrast to other media, recipients can select which information they are looking for and which offers they want to use. As a result, the uses and gratifications approach to the Internet is justified. The internet asks the recipient to take an active part. While watching TV, the recipient can change channels but is dependent on the program's specifications. When reading the newspaper, users can decide for themselves which articles they want to read and which not, but the publisher and journalists decide which content is to be published. The Internet, on the other hand, has completely different characteristics and access requirements. The online user can choose from a multitude of options, whether he reads articles on news sites, searches for information using the search engine, or listens to various podcasts is up to him. Without the active control of the online user, the Internet would consequently not be usable at all. The internet and the uses-and-gratifications theory are related.
33 Change in media use due to the Internet 24 4 Change in media use due to the Internet 4.1 Overview of online use in Germany To what extent the agenda-setting function has an influence on the Internet and vice versa, the user behavior of those who regularly use the Internet must first be clarified. In order to be able to determine differences, the "offline" must also be taken into account, i.e. those who do not use the Internet at all or hardly at all. How many people in Germany actually use the Internet and do Internet users have different socio-demographic characteristics such as those who read newspapers and television? These questions are discussed in the following chapters. The ARD / ZDF Study 2012 The ARD / ZDF Study publishes various statistics on Internet use in Germany every year. The following content refers to the most recent study published in 2012 and is a summary of the most important statistical characteristics of media use with a focus on the Internet. The figures are published annually in the specialist journal "Media Perspektiven" (cf. ARD / ZDF online study, 2012). A total of 75.% of Germans used the Internet in 2012, which means a minimal increase since it was 73.3% in 2011. The number of Internet users has almost tripled in the last 12 years (2000: 18.4 million). Compared to 2011, there were 1.7 million new users, with particular growth rates of 76.8% among those over 50. Internet access for smartphones and tablets is also creating new usage situations. The use of the Internet via mobile phone has more than doubled in the last three years (2009: 11%, 2012: 23%). Smartphones are particularly popular with those under 30, while Internet users of tablets tend to be between 30 and 49 years old. It is interesting that the user behavior on the Internet is different. Smartphone users primarily use the Internet for communicative exchange via social networks. Tablet users, on the other hand, use the Internet to access websites and to write and receive s. If one compares the development of online usage over the longer term, only 4.1 million Germans used the Internet in 1997, compared to 53.4% million in 2012, which means an increase of 61%. If you search for the most frequently used applications on the Internet, first place is the use of search engines. 83% of all users use the filter option at least once a week
34 Change in media use by the Internet 25 by search engines. Sending and receiving emails and targeted searches for specific offers and information are in second and third place with 79% and 61%, respectively. The last two places are aimless surfing on the Internet and the use of the online community. If the online recipients are asked what content they access on the Internet, reading up the latest news is the first with 59%, only 46% of users informed themselves about current events. In second place, 54% of users find out about current service information. In third place is the search for leisure information, followed by information from science and education. It would also be interesting to mention that the average length of stay in 2012 was 136 minutes per day. Users use the Internet an average of 5.7 days per week. One can observe a continuous increase in the usage time since the public access to the Internet. Multimedia applications are becoming more and more popular from year to year, after all 27% of users occasionally listen to radio programs on the Internet, while 70% of recipients watch video. The area of application in Web 2.0 is remarkable; the online encyclopedia Wikipedia was most frequently visited by 75% of men and 70% of women. In comparison, private networks and communities only come in third place (second place: video portals). If one observes the number of online users in Germany, one can still find a gap between men and women, as well as greater internet use by employed people compared to trainees (see Fig. 2). in million gender male 7.2 20.9 27.0 28.1 female 3.9 16.5 24.7 25.3 Age:, 4 4.8 5.3 5,, 9 6.5 9.6 9 ,, 9 9.1 9.7 9,. 0 8.1 12.3 12,. 3 3.7 7.0 8.1 Employment
35 Change in media use due to the Internet 26 In training 2.4 5.5 7.4 7.0 Employed 7.7 24.9 32.8 35.6 Table 1: Development of online use in Germany (own illustration) Source: ARD / ZDF online study 2012 In summary, it can be stated that more and more people in Germany are "online". This not only increases the intensity of use, but also the amount of time spent on the Internet every day. Multimedia applications such as videos on demand or Internet radio are becoming more and more popular, and the areas of application with which the recipients are concerned are also expanding. Most users use the Internet for information purposes, and informing them about political and international events is of great importance. This also shows that more and more people want to find out about the latest news on the Internet every day. In contrast to newspapers and television news, the Internet has the property that current news can be switched online at the same time. What will be in the newspapers tomorrow can already be read on the Internet. People always recognize this advantage and thus the Internet is becoming a popular medium for getting quick access to the latest news. If one proceeds from the agenda-setting theory and its topic-setting function, the internet can certainly have strong agenda-setting effects. However, there is a risk that due to the large amount of information that the web has to offer, it is not possible to achieve uniform topic agendas, for example in the television news. In addition, the users themselves decide which specific content they want to find out about. The question is whether the individual ideas are stronger or whether the need for orientation, which is an important indirect influence for agenda setting effects, predominates? Table 1: Development of online use in Germany (own illustration) Source: ARD / ZDF online study Who uses the Internet? It can be assumed that almost every citizen in the Federal Republic of Germany uses the Internet regularly and that the socio-demographic differences are therefore not that great. However, studies show that there are a few peculiarities which type of people use the Internet particularly often. First of all, it should be noted that more men than women use the Internet (see Fig. 2). For example, 5% of male Germans occasionally used the Internet, while the proportion of women was lower at 70.5% (cf. ARD / ZDF online studies, 2012). Furthermore, people with a higher level of education use the Internet more frequently than people with a lower level of education.Online users who have more prior knowledge also have a greater interest in political and social events, so they use the diverse content of the journalistic
36 Change in media use due to the Internet 27 online media (cf. Rußmann 2007, 97). Furthermore, young people use the Internet more often than older people. % Of 15 to 19 year olds use the internet. In contrast, it was only 39.2% for those over 60, while the proportion of 97.6% and 89.4% for year-olds was comparatively high (cf. ARD / ZDF online studies, 2012). The fact that young people go online most often depends on certain indicators that determine how widespread a medium is in a society. The parameters are (1) range, the extent to which people can be reached via this medium, (2) frequency of contact, how often a person has contact with the respective medium in a certain period of time and (3) intensity of use, how long the medium has been used within a certain period of time (cf. Batinic 2008, 109). Television has the highest reach in Germany, with 98% of German citizens being reached via television, closely followed by radio with 95%, followed by newspapers and then the Internet (cf. Batinic 2008, 109). Another important indicator is the technical requirements and personal knowledge and requirements for using the Internet. The generation of the year olds, but also the generation of the year olds, grew up with the Internet. From this it can be concluded that they are much more experienced with the medium because they have more experience to show, such as older people. They have to learn how to use it "anew" and, for the sake of simplicity, use "traditional" media, such as B. newspapers or television. However, one can no longer assume that the average Internet user is more likely to be male, educated and young, as middle-aged society has seen a turn to the Internet in recent years (see Fig. 2). Motives for online use According to the uses-and-gratifications theory (see also Chapter 3.4.2), the recipient not only makes a targeted decision on the appropriate medium, but they also choose the medium according to the individual motives for use. If the ARD / ZDF study from 2012 is illustrated again, questions were asked about the online applications used and the online content. Search engines are used most frequently by 83%, followed by sending and receiving s with 79% and the targeted search for specific offers with 61%. Visiting online communities is only in fifth place with 37%. This is probably due to the fact that only 4% of older people are registered with social platforms and society in Germany is getting older and older. Web 2.0 applications remain the domain of the younger generation with a share of 75%. If you ask about the content used online, current news (events in Germany and abroad) come first with 59%. If you follow this up to 2004, so
37 Changes in media use due to the Internet 28 it can be stated that current news is one of the most popular online content (cf. ARD / ZDF online studies 2012). Accordingly, the Internet is perceived as an important source of information for news. Since it can be assumed that the journalistic content of the websites comparatively contains the same important topics on their agendas, such as, for example, the daily newspapers, this could be an indicator of a theming function on the Internet. This in turn suggests that the medium of the Internet can definitely have agenda-setting effects. If one compares the reasons for using the Internet in 1996, the advantages of obtaining information on the Internet were already mentioned at that time. The motivating aspects are the possibility of a self-determined procedure, the idea of a media conquest of the world, since the Internet knows no geographical boundaries, and finally represents the simple and quick acquisition of information and the expansion of knowledge (cf. Vitouch 2004, 218). A big difference to the opinion about the Internet at that time, as opposed to today, lies in the social aspects. Jürgen Bell analyzed in 1999 that intensive users of the Internet have fewer social contacts and tend to live in seclusion (cf. Vitouch 2004, 219). At the latest with the emergence of social networks such as StudiVZ and Facebook, this can no longer be assumed. In order to consider the motives for online use in its overall context, the media user typology (MNT 2.0) is advantageous (cf. Oehmichen 2007). On the basis of a study from 2012, these typologies were analyzed according to their online use (cf. on this and in the following Oehmichen / Schröter 2010). With regard to the information functions on the web, all online users give it a high priority. Using the example of the "determined trendsetter" type, a lot can be made clear with regard to use. The determined trendsetter is a pragmatic idealist, success-oriented and has a high willingness to be interested. He also makes full use of the broad spectrum of the media. These users search the Internet very precisely for new information and use all possible applications on the Internet, e.g. B. Wikipedia and news feeds. You are looking for the latest news, cultural and service offers. Similar patterns can be observed for the "professionally oriented" and "modern culture-oriented". The characteristics of the professionally oriented person are self-explanatory. The modern, culture-oriented person is middle-aged, intellectual, more media-critical and cosmopolitan. "Inconspicuous" people are very distant when it comes to searching for information, they tend to be withdrawn in their private lives and are economically limited. They tend to belong to the older generation who concentrate on service information on the Internet. Communication is a dominant function of the need for information on the web, it is the unique selling point of this medium. There are various means of communication on the Internet. The most widespread and oldest means of communication is the. It ranks first in all groups and is used most regularly. 32.2% of the online
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