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Voter Cynicism, Perception of Media Negativism and Voting Behavior in Taiwan's 2001 Election
Unformatted Document Text:  6 television campaign news, political call-in shows, and political satire shows—attract different audiences and might have different impacts on audiences’ perceptions of the political process. In Pinkleton and Austin’s (2002) study of media use, political disaffection, and efficacy, results showed that the perceived importance of newspaper predicted higher levels of negativism toward campaigns, and frequency of television news use predicted lower levels of negativism. McLeod, Scheufele, & Moy (1999) examined the role of mass and interpersonal communication in predicting local participation and assumed that television and newspaper use have different indirect effects. Whether or not local citizens consumed a high level of “hard” news use from newspapers or local television were the biggest indicator of respondents’ knowledge of local politics and institutionalized participation. Lin and Lim hypothesized that many aspects of the American political process can be seen in other countries, particularly, in the political campaign process. One interesting study is their research of the impacts of the media behavior of 297 Korean students (use of traditional media and the Internet) on political cynicism and political efficacy. They found that the use of radio and the Internet for political information by students reduces cynicism, that the use of radio increases inefficacy, and that the use of newspapers lowers inefficacy. Moreover, media content-related negativism increased cynicism and decreased inefficacy. One interesting finding by the researchers is that the more young Korean voters experienced negative feelings toward the content and the format of the media campaign coverage, the more able they felt to influence the political system. Peng (2002) studied the voter participation in media and campaign activities in the 2000 Taiwan Presidential election and confirmed that the mobilization of voter participation is higher in an intensified election. While the actual voting turnout that year was 82%, the efficacy measures used could not find any relationships with other media variables. Chinese’s Political Trust and Media Behavior According to David Easton’s (1965, 1975, cf. Erber & Lau, 1990) famous thesis, the legitimacy of democratic political systems depends, in large part, on the extent to which the electorate trusts the government to do what is right at least most of the time. Political scientists study trust in government because it reflects on the stability of a country’s government. People who distrust their system of government and who do not view it as legitimate are supposedly more prone to antigovernment activities.

Authors: Peng, Wein (Bonnie).
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6
television campaign news, political call-in shows, and political satire shows—attract
different audiences and might have different impacts on audiences’ perceptions of the
political process. In Pinkleton and Austin’s (2002) study of media use, political
disaffection, and efficacy, results showed that the perceived importance of newspaper
predicted higher levels of negativism toward campaigns, and frequency of television
news use predicted lower levels of negativism. McLeod, Scheufele, & Moy (1999)
examined the role of mass and interpersonal communication in predicting local
participation and assumed that television and newspaper use have different indirect
effects. Whether or not local citizens consumed a high level of “hard” news use from
newspapers or local television were the biggest indicator of respondents’ knowledge
of local politics and institutionalized participation.
Lin and Lim hypothesized that many aspects of the American political process can be
seen in other countries, particularly, in the political campaign process. One
interesting study is their research of the impacts of the media behavior of 297 Korean
students (use of traditional media and the Internet) on political cynicism and political
efficacy. They found that the use of radio and the Internet for political information
by students reduces cynicism, that the use of radio increases inefficacy, and that the
use of newspapers lowers inefficacy. Moreover, media content-related negativism
increased cynicism and decreased inefficacy. One interesting finding by the
researchers is that the more young Korean voters experienced negative feelings
toward the content and the format of the media campaign coverage, the more able
they felt to influence the political system.
Peng (2002) studied the voter participation in media and campaign activities in the
2000 Taiwan Presidential election and confirmed that the mobilization of voter
participation is higher in an intensified election. While the actual voting turnout that
year was 82%, the efficacy measures used could not find any relationships with other
media variables.
Chinese’s Political Trust and Media Behavior
According to David Easton’s (1965, 1975, cf. Erber & Lau, 1990) famous thesis, the
legitimacy of democratic political systems depends, in large part, on the extent to
which the electorate trusts the government to do what is right at least most of the time.
Political scientists study trust in government because it reflects on the stability of a
country’s government. People who distrust their system of government and who do
not view it as legitimate are supposedly more prone to antigovernment activities.


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