Agenda-Setting in Cross-National Coverage of COVID-19: An Analysis of Elite Newspapers in US and China with Topic Modeling

Kan Wu 1 *
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1 Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics Dongfang College, CHINA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 11, Issue 4, Article No: e202116.
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This study examines agenda-setting in US-China elite newspapers coverage of COVID-19 through topic modeling. It attempts to contribute to studies of media agenda first by demonstrating the relevance of text-mining in agenda-setting research and second by comparing how elite newspapers from different countries choose topics as part of agenda-setting when they report a single event. Topic-modeling the news corpora collected between 15 January 2020 and 15 June 2020 from the four US-China elite newspapers, the study finds that “domestic economy” and “international relations” are the two dominant topics that help shape the agenda in the Chinese newspapers, whereas “family & friends” and “daily life” are the topics playing the same role in the US newspapers. The study argues that such differences may associate with ideological gaps between the two countries in terms of “concepts of development”, “media bias” and “views of individualism”.


Wu, K. (2021). Agenda-Setting in Cross-National Coverage of COVID-19: An Analysis of Elite Newspapers in US and China with Topic Modeling. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 11(4), e202116.


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