Charting the pattern of influence wielding through the muddy waters of international environmental policy is a risky task. For, too often, influence is a matter of subjective perception. Clearly, much more needs to be done to understand the multifarious factors underlying environmental policymaking. The analysis offered in this chapter, however, does indicate the need to appreciate the role the media play in shaping international environmental policy. And, as Rogers and Dearing point out, "[A]n agenda-setting process must occur in an organization, and, in fact, must be fundamental to understanding how change occurs in an organization" ( 1988:581). Agenda setting is continuously underway in organizations, and it is the way in which problems are defined during this stage that determines the response of the organization to the issue at hand. Both by helping set the congressional agenda on the Bank and by offering particular perspectives on international environmental issues, the media have shown themselves as deserving a place in the complex equations at work here.
As the figures show, the swings in congressional hearings on environment-related World Bank issues from the 1980s show Congress as seeming to respond to a new influence that prompts its interest in the environmental aspects of the World Bank's policies. The significant correlation between media prominence and congressional hearings suggests a strong relationship between media attention and congressional hearings. We may infer impact of the media on Congress's attempts to influence the Bank's policies on the environment from the frequent references by members of Congress to news stories. (Congressional actions on the Bank, on the other hand, are rarely mentioned in the news media coverage.) Media coverage of World Bank-related environmental issues create salience for these issues that conceivably help shape congressional interest in the World Bank. Of course, no claim is being made here that the media act independently in choosing to cover such issues. Thus, it must be kept in mind that the 1980s was the time when environmental organizations in the United States and elsewhere turned their attention to international development agencies. Together these groups lobbied the press and