The digital socio-political agenda and its conceptualization within the new media ecology framework

The digital socio-political agenda and its conceptualization within the new media ecology framework

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2022.02.04

For citation:

Timofeyeva L.N., Ryabchenko N.A., Malysheva O.P., Gnedash A.A. The digital socio-political agenda and its conceptualization within the new media ecology framework. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No. 2. P. 37-51. (In Russ.).

The reported study was funded by RFBR and EISR according to the research project № 21-011-31826 “Deliberative practice of interaction of parliamentary parties with the electorate: structural-communicative analysis” (2021).


In the first quarter of the 21st century, the leading role of mass media (press, radio, and TV) in agenda setting was challenged by alternative and citizen digital journalism. As a result, the conceptual framework of the agenda-setting construct has changed. Social media and online influencers contributed to the development of a digital, namely hybrid, socio-political agenda. The article deals with the features of alternative social media and reveals the differences between alternative media and mainstream media; defines the notion of “digital socio-political agenda”; substantiates the role of influencers in shaping digital socio-political agenda; and reveals the influence of the digital socio-political agenda on the behavioral patterns of real-life citizen socio-political participation. The article presents a novel theoretical model of the digital socio-political agenda developed by the authors, which was designed to explain the functioning of a multidimensional and multilayered network. The digital socio-political agenda model has two dimensions: the “Official discourse” (networked data retrieved from the sites of mainstream and pro-government media, governmental bodies, political parties) and the “Network discourse” (networked data retrieved from social media and used to construct the network of “Users”, “Messages”, “Hashtags”, and “Emoji”). These dimensions are in constant interaction, which gives rise to a new digital socio-political agenda, in which the state loses its leadership role. 

media ecology, digital socio-political agenda, online space, network approach, network analysis, Data Science, Big Data, modeling, official discourse, network discourse, coronavirus pandemic, constitutional amendments, mass media and alternative media, social networks.


Ballesteros Herencia, C.A. (2020). La propagación digital del coronavirus: Midiendo el engagement del entretenimiento en la red social emergente TikTok (The Digital Spread of the Coronavirus: Measuring Engagement of Entertainment on the Emerging Social Network TikTok). Revista española de comunicación en salud, 11, 171-185.

Barberá, P., Casas, A., Nagler, J., Egan, P.J., Bonneau, R., Jost, J.T. & Tucker J.A. (2019). Who leads? Who follows? Measuring issue attention and agenda setting by Legislators and the mass public using social media data. American Political Science Review, 113(4), 883-901.

Van Dalen, A., & Van Aelst, P. (2014). The media as political agenda-setters: journalists’ perceptions of media power in eight West European countries. West European Politics, 37(1), 42-64.

Dearing, J.W., & Rogers, E.M. (1992). Agenda-setting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Fawzi, N. (2018). Beyond policy agenda-setting: political actors’ and journalists’ perceptions of news media influence across all stages of the political process. Information, Communication & Society, 21(8), 1134-1150.

Feezell, J.T. (2018). Agenda setting through social media: the importance of incidental news exposure and social filtering in the digital era. Political Research Quarterly, 72(2), 482-494.

Gilardi, F., Gessler, T., Kubli, M., & Müller, S. (2021). Social media and political agenda setting. Political Communication.

Guo, Lei, & McCombs, M. (Ed.) (2015). The power of information networks. New directions for agenda setting. New York: Routledge.

Lasswell, H.D. (1927). The theory of political propaganda. The American Political Science Review, 21(3), 627-631.

McCombs, M.E., Shaw, D.L. (1972). The agenda-setting function of mass media. Public Opinion Quarterly, 36(2), 176-187.

McCombs, M.E., Shaw, D.L., & Weaver, D.H. (Eds.) (2013). Communication and democracy: exploring the intellectual frontiers in agenda-setting theory. New York: Routledge.

McCombs, M.E., & Shaw, D.L. (1993). The evolution of agenda-setting research: twenty-five years in the marketplace of ideas. Journal of Communication, 43(2), 58-67.

McGregor, S.C. (2019). Social media as public opinion: how journalists use social media to represent public opinion. Journalism, 20(8), 1070-1086.

McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding media: the extensions of man. London, New York: McGraw Hill.

Pritchard, D. (1992). The news media and public policy agendas. In J.D. Kennamer (Ed.), Public Opinion, the Press and Public Policy (103-112). New York: Praeger.

Walgrave, S., & Van Aelst, P. (2006). The contingency of the mass media’s political agenda setting power: toward a preliminary theory. Journal of Communication, 56(1), 88-109.

Wanta, W., Golan, G., & Lee, C. (2004). Agenda setting and international news: media influence on public perceptions of foreign nations. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 81(2), 364-377.

Chen, Di. (2012). Concepts of American and Russian researchers in online social media and social networking. Vestnik of St. Petersburg State University. Series 9. Philology, Asian Studies, Journalism, 3, 223-230. (In Russ.)


Dictionary of the Russian language of the Coronavirus era. (2021). St. Petersburg: Institute for Linguistic Research, Russian Academy of Sciences. (In Russ.)

Dmitriev, O.A. (2017). Alternative media as a tool for changing traditional journalistic principles. Izvestia Ural Federal University Journal. Series 1: Issues in Education, Science and Culture, 23, 3, 72-81. (In Russ.)

Dyakova, E.G., & Trakhtenberg, A.D. (2001). Massovaya kommunikatsiya: modeli vliyaniya. Kak formiruetsya “povestka dnya”? [Mass Communication: Models of Influence. How is the “Agenda” Formed?]. Ekaterinburg: The Liberal Arts University (Ekaterinburg); Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Branch. (In Russ.)

Dyakova, E.G., & Trakhtenberg, A.D. (2005). Ustanovlenie povestki dnya: teoriya i tekhnologiya [Agenda setting: theory and technology]. Ekaterinburg: Diskurs-Pi. (In Russ.)

Dyakova, Ye.G. (2003). Mass political communication in the agenda setting theory: from effect to process. Polis. Political Studies, 3, 109-119. (In Russ.)

Glukhova, A.V. (Ed.) (2020). Vnutripoliticheskaya povestka dnya kak faktor edinstva sovremennoi Rossii [Domestic political agenda as a factor of the unity of contemporary Russia]. Voronezh: Nauchnaya kniga. (In Russ.)

Gnedash, A., & Ryabchenko, N. (2014). Constructive and destructive socio-political practices in today Russia online space: “Fail”, “Case”, “Mechanics”. Human. Community. Management, 2, 40-54. (In Russ.)

Kallioma, L.A. (2011). Print media journalist in the digital revolution: tested by change. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhurnalistika, 5, 102-106. (In Russ.)

Kaminchenko, D.I. (2019). Fragmentation of the modern agenda: analysis of the texts of the mass media and social media. Belgorod State University Scientific Bulletin. Humanities. Philology. Journalism. Pedagogy Psychology, 38(4), 573-583. (In Russ.)

Kazakov, A.A. (2015). Agenda-setting theory vs framing: towards correlation of approaches. The Journal of Political Theory, Political Philosophy and Sociology of Politics Politeia, 1(76), 103-113. (In Russ.)

Kazun, A.D. (2017). Where Does Agenda Come From? The role of the media in setting the importance of events. Vestnik obshchestvennogo mneniya. Dannye. Analiz. Diskussii, 124(1-2), 182-189. (In Russ.)

Kazun, A.D. (2018). To whom does the agenda belong? Review оf issue ownership theory. Monitoring оf Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes, 4, 109-123. (In Russ.)

Ryabchenko, N.A., Malisheva, O.P., & Miroshnichenko, I.V. (2021). “Constitutional amendments” and “coronavirus pandemia” discourses in the digital political agenda of 2020: agitation vs inhibition in the state media. Bulletin of Perm University. Political Science, 15(2), 143-155. (In Russ.)

Ryabchenko, N.A., & Malysheva, O.P. (2020). Characteristic features of modern political com­munication in the online-space. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 2, 101-113. (In Russ.)

Ryabchenko, N.A., Miroshnichenko, I.V., & Gnedash, A.A. (2020). From the “quasi-criticism of au­thority” to the discourse “participation and development”: a public agenda on the Runet social networks (case studies of network community practices). South Russian Journal of Social Sciences, 21(3), 20-36. (In Russ.)

Shestopal, E.B. (2011). The political agenda of the Russian power and its perception by citizens. Polis. Political Studies, 2, 7-24. (In Russ.)

Solovyov, A.I. (2021). Politika i upravlenie gosudarstvom. Ocherki teorii i metodologii [Politics and government. Essays on theory and methodology]. Moscow: Aspect Press. (In Russ.)

Timofeeva L.N. 2019. Al’ternativizm v nauke i politike [Alternativeism in science and politics]. In O.V. Gaman-Golutvina, A.I. Nikitin (Ed.), Contemporary Political Science: Methodology (pp. 525-550). Moscow: Aspect Press. (In Russ.)

Timofeeva, L.N. (1992). Al’ternativnaya pechat’: ee sushchnost’ i znachenie [Alternative press: its essence and significance]. In Pressa: opyt, problemy i tendentsii [Press: Experience, Problems and Trends] (pp. 23-49). Moscow: Luch, RAU.

Timofeeva, L.N. (2015). Politicheskaya kommunikativistika: mirovaya i rossiiskaya proektsiya [Political communication: world and Russian projection]. In O.V. Gaman-Golutvina (Ed.), Strukturnye transformatsii i razvitie otechestvennykh shkol politologii [Structural transformations and development of domestic schools of political science]: Moscow: Aspect Press. P. 378-402. (In Russ.)

Timofeeva, L.N. (2020). New sociality in the information agenda: the role of old and new media. Proceedings of Voronezh State University. Series: History. Political science. Sociology, 2, 64-69. (In Russ.)

Vandysheva, E.A. (2017). The evolution of the political agenda setting concept in foreign po­litical studies. World Economy and International Relations, 61(4), 91-99. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 2, 2022

See also:

Timofeyeva L.N., Ryabchenko N.A., Malysheva O.P., Gnedash A.A.,
The digital socio-political agenda: theoretical model tested on the Russian case “Coronavirus-2020”. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No5

Petrov S.I.,
STATE GOVERNANCE AND POLITICAL NETWORKS. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No4

Akhremenko A.S.,
Internet shutdown as a theoretical problem of political science, or what we do (not) understand about network protest mobilization. – Polis. Political Studies. 2024. No2

Akhremenko A.S., Stukal D.K., Petrov A.P.,
Network vs Message in Protest Diffusion on Social Media: Theoretical and Data Analytics Perspectives. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No2

Kazantzev A.A.,
Three Scenarios of a “Coloured” Revolution in Russia (Modelling the Net Dynamics of the Russian Polity). – Polis. Political Studies. 2006. No1



   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991