Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Communication

Committee Chair

Jae-Hwa Shin

Committee Chair School

Communication

Committee Member 2

Peter Paprzycki

Committee Member 2 School

Education

Committee Member 3

Christopher Campbell

Committee Member 3 School

Communication

Committee Member 4

Fei Xue

Committee Member 4 School

Communication

Committee Member 5

Cheryl Jenkins

Committee Member 5 School

Communication

Abstract

In response to the Agenda Setting scholars’ calls to locate innovative methods to gauge public salience in the evolving communication environment, this study used retweets, likes, and replies to measure public salience on two types of Kuwaiti Twitter news accounts: traditional newspapers accounts, and alternative news accounts. It also aimed to examine the potential effect of media salience constructs: attention, prominence, and valence on public perceived salience. The study was conducted on a 2203 systematically selected tweets from six news accounts. Results revealed that the agenda of the two types were positively significantly correlated. Social issues and politics were the most salient topics in both the media and public. An alternative voice in news media has emerged on Twitter and become a key player of news circulation in Kuwait. The alternative news accounts exerted more Agenda Setting effect than that of the traditional newspapers accounts. The traditional news accounts seemed to shift their entrenched standards and values to the platform of Twitter. All the media salience constructs were found to be significantly predicting public salience, but the construct of valence was more powerful in prediction. The valenced tone of news stories encouraged the public for more interaction. Future directions in Agenda Setting on Twitter and suggestions for Twitter accounts were also discussed.

Available for download on Sunday, December 12, 2021

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