Publications

2007
The main contribution of this study to the understanding of agenda-setting and priming effects is its focus on the role of evaluative tone in all stages of the agenda setting/priming process. First, the public's evaluation of issue importance, which is the dependent variable in most agenda-setting studies, is influenced by the issue saliency in the news and by the evaluative tone of media coverage (positive, negative, or neutral). This evaluative tone or affective attribute attached to the issue is part of the second-level agenda setting. Second, these affective attributes that people attach to issues further play an important role in the process of priming, on which they have both indirect and direct impacts. Priming, therefore, carries with it an affective component: It is a combination of message strength and direction. Third, the political judgments of individuals are also directly influenced by media-affective attributes. All of the arguments are supported by the empirical analys
Gideon Rahat and Tamir Sheafer. 2007. “The Personalization(s) of Politics: Israel, 1949-2003.” Political Communication, 24, Pp. 65 -80. Publisher's Version Abstract
A study was conducted to examine the occurrence of personalization(s) in the Israeli political system from independence in 1948 to the 2003 elections. Institutional personalization was analyzed in terms of changes in candidate selection methods; personalization in the unpaid media was assessed through analysis of the media coverage of 16 election campaigns for the Israeli parliament, the Knesset; and personalization in the behavior of politicians was measured as the percentage of the laws passed in each Knesset that originated in private member bills out of the total number of bills passed in a specific term. Findings indicated that institutional personalization generates personalization in the media, which in turn leads to personalization in the behavior of politicians.