The mass media is able to effectively set almost any political or public agenda and frame how media consumers view a particular topic. For instance, an overall majority of information that is presented to the consumers against gay marriage would set a public agenda that suggests that everyone is and should be against gay marriage. The agenda-setting and cultivation theories come into play here and have a direct relationship with setting the public agenda.
Gatekeeping is a process that all media stories go through internally within the specific media outlet to determine what information is allows to be presented to the public and in what way. Writers and reporters typically are given specific assignments and told to write them from a particular viewpoint. After the work is written, the editors will comb through the work to make sure that it is void of errors and presents the appropriate message for the general public. Because media outlets frame messages, the editors are directly responsible for ensuring that the messages are properly framed and presented in a clear, understandable format.
The potential problem that this presents is that the consumer may not be able to peel apart the framing of the mass media. In other words, the consumer is only going to hear a specific message and not always the entire story. This does not mean that the media is lying about the story, but it simply means that the way it is portrayed is framed in a specific manner so that the consumer perceives it in a particular way. Many consumers do not think objectively about a news story and accept what they view to be true. The media can easily take advantage of the ignorance of the general public.
The mass media can cultivate an individual’s attitude or perceptions based on the type of message and the specific details of the message that are being portrayed. Cultivation