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Young People, Media Use, and Voter Turnout: An Analysis of the 2000 National Election Study
Unformatted Document Text:  Young Voters and Media Use 3 Young voters certainly confirm that they feel ‘distanced’ from their government and presidential candidates. In a survey done during the election campaign period in 2000, a college student criticized the candidates for a lack of discussion of college- related issues: “They talk about education, but they talk about vouchers…these events are hosted at the colleges, but they are not talking to students” (Chronicle of Higher education, 2000). What then is behind the continuously declining young voter turnout? Is it lack of emphasis on civic duties at home and at school, or is it lack of attention paid to young people’s issues? This study seeks to find one way to answer this question using the 2000 National Election Study (NES) data. More specifically, this study focuses on investigating the relationship, if any, between media use and voting behavior among young voters. This paper replicates James Simon’s study (1996) but further dissects the sample in order to specifically investigate whether or not certain media use can predict the young voter turnout. Understanding the relationship between media use and young voter turnout will help us better understand electoral behaviors of young voters separately from non-voters and may provide some suggestions as to what we can do about continuously declining young voter turnout. Related Studies Because the public largely relies on the mass media in gathering information it needs in order to make an informed decision on an election day, many researchers have explored the role of the news media as sources of political information.

Authors: Kim, Eunsong.
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Young Voters and Media Use
3
Young voters certainly confirm that they feel ‘distanced’ from their government
and presidential candidates. In a survey done during the election campaign period in
2000, a college student criticized the candidates for a lack of discussion of college-
related issues: “They talk about education, but they talk about vouchers…these events
are hosted at the colleges, but they are not talking to students” (Chronicle of Higher
education, 2000).
What then is behind the continuously declining young voter turnout? Is it lack of
emphasis on civic duties at home and at school, or is it lack of attention paid to young
people’s issues? This study seeks to find one way to answer this question using the 2000
National Election Study (NES) data. More specifically, this study focuses on
investigating the relationship, if any, between media use and voting behavior among
young voters.
This paper replicates James Simon’s study (1996) but further dissects the sample
in order to specifically investigate whether or not certain media use can predict the
young voter turnout. Understanding the relationship between media use and young
voter turnout will help us better understand electoral behaviors of young voters
separately from non-voters and may provide some suggestions as to what we can do
about continuously declining young voter turnout.
Related Studies
Because the public largely relies on the mass media in gathering information it
needs in order to make an informed decision on an election day, many researchers have
explored the role of the news media as sources of political information.


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