This is the author’s final draft of the paper published as Campbell, V., Gibson R., et al. ‘News Blogs, Mainstream News and News Agendas’ in Tunney, S., Monaghan, G. (eds) Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship?, (Sussex Academic Press, 2009). The final published version is available from http://www.sussex-academic.co.uk.This chapter examines the role of news blogs in the process of news production focusing specifically on their capacity to set the agenda in relation to the mainstream news media. While there have been a number of high profile cases where blogs appear to have had a major role in bringing new issues to the news agenda or shaping the coverage of an existing issue, an important question that such cases raise is how far they are simply exceptional or can they be seen as signalling an emerging and increasingly prominent role for blogs in news reporting? In order to explore this question this chapter examines news blogs in light of agenda-setting theory. In particular we ask how blogs can be understood in terms of theories of first- and second-order agenda-setting and formulate a series of propositions regarding the circumstances that appear to be associated with blogs’ effectiveness in this regard. We then examine a series of cases in which blogs played a prominent role in shaping news agenda in light of our expectations to establish how far such success can be explained through the lens of agenda-setting. Based on our findings we conclude by proposing a new classificatory scheme that seeks to distinguish news blogs in terms of their relationship to the mainstream news media.\ud [Taken from chapter Introduction
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