This study tests the agenda-setting hypothesis for the environmental issue in Hong Kong from 1983 to 1995. It was found that the agenda-setting hypothesis was supported for the initial period of five and a half years. In the subsequent period of seven and a half years, despite the increased media coverage of the issues, there was a significant drop in the perceived salience of the environmental problem. This may be due to the dilution of public attention as a result of diversity in the news agenda and reporting of local environmental problems as 'soft' news. It was also found that the environmental issue failed to compete with other prominent issues directly affecting the public. The mass media played a much less important role in keeping the environmental issue on the public agenda at the later stage.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Sociology and Political Science