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Buchmeier, Yosuke (2020): Towards a Conceptualization and Operationalization of Agenda-Cutting: A Research Agenda for a Neglected Media Phenomenon. In: Journalism Studies, Vol. 21, No. 14: pp. 2007-2024
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While agenda-setting has developed into one of the leading concepts in communication studies, "agenda-cutting" has so far remained a theoretical blind spot. This paper argues that the non-reflected, tacit assumption of agenda-cutting as a by-concept to agenda-setting represents one cause for this theoretical neglect. Thereby, the agenda-cutting concept finds itself in an epistemic dilemma: Since empirical evidence has been scarce so far, theoretical endeavors miss the experiential material to build on, whereas on the other hand operational enquiries struggle as conceptual groundwork is largely missing. In this light, this paper proposes a research agenda for a media phenomenon which requires an analysis distinct from its current parent concept agenda-setting in order to come to the fore to begin with. Furthermore, following the definition of conceptual key aspects a model for operationalizing agenda-cutting is put forward. If conceptual and empirical advancements could be made, agenda-cutting would possibly have a theoretical potential for application in a wide range of contexts such as journalism studies, cultural studies, political communication, or public relations. On the whole, this paper aims to initiate a scholarly debate by establishing conceptual common ground and proposing a research direction for what the author considers an unduly neglected media phenomenon.