Agenda Setting between the Public and Government on Weibo: The Case of Shanghai Lockdown during the COVID-19 Epidemic

  • Weiwen Yu (Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University)
  • Published : 2023.12.31


This study examined China's public and government agenda setting in response to the Shanghai lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It employed content analysis, correlation, and Granger's causality tests to analyze 1,717 Weibo posts published by the public and the Shanghai Municipal Government from March 12 to June 1, 2022. The results showed that (1) pandemic statistics were the central attribute in the government agenda, while civil life, community management, and government and policies were the central attributes in the public agenda; (2) the government's agenda unidirectionally influenced the public agenda in terms of government policy attributes; and (3) the government and public agendas reciprocally influenced each other in terms of economic attributes. This study contributed to the existing literature by examining agenda-setting dynamics in a city closure event during the COVID-19 epidemic. It also extended existing methods by modeling implicit relationships between attributes in the public and government agendas.



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