A Verification of the Applicability of Cohen’s Assertion and the Agenda-Setting Theory to Public Discourses in Ilorin Metropolis

Oketunmbi, E.O.O (2016-03)


In order to determine the applicability of the agenda-setting theory in an environment different from the one in which it was postulated, this study replicated the pioneer study by McCombs and Shaw (1972) on the agenda-setting theory. A combination of descriptive survey and content analysis was adopted as research methods. The population of study were adult residents of Ilorin metropolis out of which 100 respondents were randomly selected. Contents of The Punch and The Nation newspapers, in addition to Radio Nigeria's 7 a.m. Network News and Unilorin FM's 5 p.m. News Headlines broadcasts were also analysed for the period of 23 April to 22 May 2013. Data analysis revealed that the mass media agenda mostly constitutes public agenda. Therefore, the study confirmed the agenda-setting theory and recommended that government and policy makers should exploit the finding to set public agenda for development.