News Agenda-Setting: Building a Culture of Peace
or a Culture of War and Conflicts?
Drissia CHOUIT, Ph.D.
MoulayI smail University, Meknes, Morocco
Abdelhamid NFISSI, Ph.D.
Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco
This paper examines the Agenda-Setting Theory of the Press in its relation to political agenda and public opinion. The inter-relationship between news agenda, political agenda and
public opinion is examined from a critical perspective, aiming to show the effects and the limitations of the Agenda-Setting Theory of the Press, and to highlight how the choices of media professionals concerning what is considered news-worthy can have subtle
cognitive effects on audiences and shape their attitudes and behaviours.
What is termed the "War on Terror" is taken as a case study to show
the manipulative power of both the news agenda-setting and the news agenda-cuttings, as well as the detrimental effects of cross-cultural illiteracy, which reinforce a culture of hatred, fear, anxiety, conflicts and wars, instead of a culture of peace and
The paper ends with a set of recommendations highlighting the importance of media, information, and cross-cultural
literacy. The mass media should honour their mission as the Fourth Estate, should be re-focused on public interest; and should take responsibility in building a culture of peace and mutual understanding, which is the only way to guarantee the well-being of
humanity and to pave the way to a better future to younger generations around the world.