Agenda-Setting theory in African contexts: A Jekyll and Hyde in the Zambian Presidential elections
Gregory Gondwe, Roberta Muchangwe
This study aims at contextualizing the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of agenda-setting theory amidst cultural traditional values in Africa. First, it tests the influence of agenda-setting theory in the Zambian presidential elections, and then asserts perceptions of what the voters believe influences their choices for a presidential candidate. The study investigates the plausibility and applicability of agenda-setting theory at a global context. It questions how the ruling governments that own(ed) and control(led) the mass media and its agenda (in the 1991 and 2011 Zambian presidential elections) could lose to the opposition governments that barely created a media agenda for their campaigns. Findings suggest that cultural variables were more statistically inclined to voters’ behaviors in the Zambian elections when compared to agenda-setting theory.