This special issue of Journal of Communication is devoted to theoretical explanations of news framing, agenda setting, and priming effects. It examines if and how the three models are related and what potential relationships between them tell theorists and researchers about the effects of mass media. As an introduction to this effort, this essay provides a very brief review of the three effects and their roots in media-effects research. Based on this overview, we highlight a few key dimensions along which one can compare, framing, agenda setting, and priming. We conclude with a description of the contexts within which the three models operate, and the broader implications that these conceptual distinctions have for the growth of our discipline.
Dietram A. Scheufele & David Tewksbury