Wednesday, July 9, 2008

ANZCA08 Conference - Power and Place, Wellington, NZ

I am in wintry Wellington in New Zealand for the Australia and New Zealand Communications Association (ANZCA) conference for 2008.

The theme of the conference is "Power and Place", and the keynote presentation this morning was by Maxwell McCombs, the pioneer of agenda-setting research. He was presenting a 40-year retrospective of the "Chapel Hill studies", as they are known, of agenda-setting in relation to the 1968 US Presidential elections.

One point that McCombs emphasised was that agenda-setting methodologies have been moving beyond the news/politics/public affairs nexus. He pointed out a study (missed author) that showed how agenda-setting research illustrates the rise of the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) from a relatively minor group in the late 60s to its multi-billion $ status today. It is also being used to evaluate corporate reputations, as is occurring with the Reputation Institute in The Netherlands.

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