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The Antecedents of Online Political Activities: How news media use and political orientations promote civic engagement

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Abstract:

This study examines the effects of news media use such as TV, Newspaper, and Internet and political orientations such as political self-efficacy, political trust, and interpersonal trust on three types of online political activities such as interactive, expressive and civic online political activities. This research is built on the premise that the Internet could assist those who are looking for alternative ways to interact with others and express their opinions, thus leading to certain type of online political activities. In this respect, we test the possibility of online political activities functioning as an alternative way to mobilize citizens of certain portion, in particular those who feel high sense of political distrust.
We define online political participation as three types of different political activity such as “interactive”, “expressive”, and “civic” political activities. We also apply distinction between conventional and unconventional political activities to online political behaviors. We assume that civic online political activities have expanded the range of traditional political participation by serving a complementary role in the political process. However, interactive and expressive online political activities are relatively alternative and unconventional from existing offline political participation and could be characterized by more communication and interaction-based activities with others.
The relationships among news media use and political orientations on online political activities were tested using data collected from a Web-based survey conducted between September 25 and October 1, 2003 at the large Midwestern university. This study hypothesizes that people who distrust government are more likely to participate in interactive and expressive online political activities, which defined as unconventional and alternative in terms of offline political activities. In addition, this study poses a research question on the relationship between news media use and political orientation variables such as political self-efficacy, political trust, and interpersonal trust.
Regression path analysis of the data after controlling for basic demographics, ideology, and political knowledge found that trust in government had a negative effect on both interactive and expressive online political activities. In addition, newspaper news use is positively related with all three types of online political activities, while TV news use is negatively related with civic online political activities. Finally, traditionally supposed crucial factor for political participation namely political self-efficacy could function as a powerful predictor for all three types of online political activities.

Author's Keywords:

Interactive, expressive, and civic online political activities, political self-efficacy, political trust, interpersonal trust, news media use
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Association:
Name: American Association for Public Opinion Research
URL:
http://www.aapor.org


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MLA Citation:

Kim, Eunkyung. and Han, Jeong Yeob. "The Antecedents of Online Political Activities: How news media use and political orientations promote civic engagement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, Arizona, May 11, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116134_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kim, E. and Han, J. , 2004-05-11 "The Antecedents of Online Political Activities: How news media use and political orientations promote civic engagement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, Arizona <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116134_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study examines the effects of news media use such as TV, Newspaper, and Internet and political orientations such as political self-efficacy, political trust, and interpersonal trust on three types of online political activities such as interactive, expressive and civic online political activities. This research is built on the premise that the Internet could assist those who are looking for alternative ways to interact with others and express their opinions, thus leading to certain type of online political activities. In this respect, we test the possibility of online political activities functioning as an alternative way to mobilize citizens of certain portion, in particular those who feel high sense of political distrust.
We define online political participation as three types of different political activity such as “interactive”, “expressive”, and “civic” political activities. We also apply distinction between conventional and unconventional political activities to online political behaviors. We assume that civic online political activities have expanded the range of traditional political participation by serving a complementary role in the political process. However, interactive and expressive online political activities are relatively alternative and unconventional from existing offline political participation and could be characterized by more communication and interaction-based activities with others.
The relationships among news media use and political orientations on online political activities were tested using data collected from a Web-based survey conducted between September 25 and October 1, 2003 at the large Midwestern university. This study hypothesizes that people who distrust government are more likely to participate in interactive and expressive online political activities, which defined as unconventional and alternative in terms of offline political activities. In addition, this study poses a research question on the relationship between news media use and political orientation variables such as political self-efficacy, political trust, and interpersonal trust.
Regression path analysis of the data after controlling for basic demographics, ideology, and political knowledge found that trust in government had a negative effect on both interactive and expressive online political activities. In addition, newspaper news use is positively related with all three types of online political activities, while TV news use is negatively related with civic online political activities. Finally, traditionally supposed crucial factor for political participation namely political self-efficacy could function as a powerful predictor for all three types of online political activities.

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