Undercurrent points to a new article on First Monday about agenda-setting, opinion leading and blogs.
From the conclusion:
“Attempts at amateur journalism constitute only a small part of the overall blogosphere, but they have demonstrated their ability to affect the flow of information between traditional journalists and audiences. From the standpoint of agenda setting, the most important thing about web logs is the way that they bridge these components of our public sphere.
In an article published shortly after his death, Steve Chaffee (writing with Miriam Metzger in 2001) argued that new media transform the assumptions of traditional communications theory. Anticipating the developments we have seen with web logs, he predicted that “the key problem for agenda-setting theory will change from what issues the media tell people to think about to what issues people tell the media they want to think about” (375). This study suggests that he was correct.”