Agenda Setting of News Media: An RCT on News Consumption
Last registered on December 17, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Agenda Setting of News Media: An RCT on News Consumption
Initial registration date
April 01, 2018
Last updated
December 17, 2018 8:13 AM EST

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Primary Investigator
Northeastern University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The mass media are considered to be one of the most important agenda setters in this society. They steer the attention of the public toward certain political issues using repetition, emphasis, and ordering of the articles. How much of the article selections of the news consumers is driven by pure “salience,” and how much is via more conscious process such as issue delegation (media guide the news consumers)? How much of the selection is driven by the subjective issue importance of the news consumers prior to seeing the media emphasis of the issues? Do media's issue “salience” and “guidance” affect the subjective importance of the issues, opinions on policy issues, and eventually the support for the political parties? Through an Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) experiment in the US, this paper aims to answer these questions in a systematic and coherent way.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Jo, Donghee. 2018. "Agenda Setting of News Media: An RCT on News Consumption." AEA RCT Registry. December 17.
Former Citation
Jo, Donghee. 2018. "Agenda Setting of News Media: An RCT on News Consumption." AEA RCT Registry. December 17.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Issue selection in the article selection screen; subjective importance of five issues; position on each issue and the confidence on the belief

We will also explore the heterogeneity of outcomes in (i) partisanship, (ii) baseline numeracy score (scores from four numeracy questions), and (iii) baseline measure of how much the subject is prone to selection neglect (Enke, 2018).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Party support (subject’s instruction to donate 50 cents to different organizations); 2018 voting expectation; media rank preference; sentiment toward other party members (select all that apply); whether the subject is going to be happy to have a child married to an other-party supporter
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Main randomization: providing differently ordered list of articles, where the articles are randomly shuffled for randomly selected subset of the subjects.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization in office using Stata
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 Individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150 individuals for each treatment group (there is no control group per se, although one of the groups resembles the real-world article ordering and therefore can be considered as quasi-control group)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
MIT Committee On the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number