A political agenda is a set of issues and policies laid out by ideological or political groups; as well as topics under discussion by a governmental executive, or a cabinet in government that tries to influence current and near-future political news and debate.
The political agenda when shaped by government can be influenced by grass-roots support from party activists at events such as a party conference and can even be shaped by non governmental activist groups which have a political aim.
Increasingly the mass media can have an effect in shaping the political agenda through its news coverage of news stories. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was able to shape the political agenda by running a series of programs which criticized the quality of school dinners in the United Kingdom. This led to government action by education secretary Ruth Kelly to improve the quality of meals which would not have occurred if not for such prominent and vocal criticism.
A political party can be described as "shaping the political agenda" or "setting the political agenda" if its promotion of certain issues gains prominent news coverage, for example at election time a political party wants to promote its polices and gain prominent news coverage in order to increase its support.
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