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Understanding the Internet’s Impact on International Knowledge and Engagement: News Attention, Social Media Use, and the 2010 Haitian Earthquake
Unformatted Document Text:  7 H2: Exposure to Internet news about the Haitian earthquake will be positively associated with international news knowledge. Previous studies have found that involvement with foreign events may influence the acquisition of international knowledge (Beaudoin, 2008) and spark a greater sense of belonging and international participation (Kwak, Poor, & Skoric, 2006). That relationship also is expected to emerge in this case. H3: International involvement with the relief effort following the Haitian earthquake will be positively associated with international news knowledge. Although general measures of political knowledge have been found to be important predictors of issue-specific knowledge (Price & Zaller, 1993), they are not consistently included in studies examining the knowledge gap and international news. However, studies that have included such measures have found a significant positive association with international news knowledge (Kwak, Poor, & Skoric, 2006). H4: Domestic political knowledge will be positively associated with international news knowledge. Finally, although previous studies of the knowledge gap and international news have not included variables measuring social media use, it is expected that this combination of mediated interpersonal discussion and media use will logically have a positive association with knowledge acquisition. Along with media use, interpersonal discussion has been demonstrated to be an important moderator of the knowledge gap on its own in certain settings (Scheufele, 2002), including in the context of international knowledge (Beaudoin, 2008). Measuring the use of text messages, e-mail, and social media to interact with foreign events offers the opportunity to gauge a person’s interest and engagement with international news in a distinct and potentially important different manner than measuring those concepts separately. Additionally, active social media use has been found to be positively associated with knowledge

Authors: Martin, Jason A..
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H2:  Exposure to Internet news about the Haitian earthquake will be positively associated 
with international news knowledge. 
Previous studies have found that involvement with foreign events may influence the 
acquisition of international knowledge (Beaudoin, 2008) and spark a greater sense of belonging and 
international participation (Kwak, Poor, & Skoric, 2006).  That relationship also is expected to 
emerge in this case. 
H3: International involvement with the relief effort following the Haitian earthquake will be 
positively associated with international news knowledge. 
 
Although general measures of political knowledge have been found to be important 
predictors of issue-specific knowledge (Price & Zaller, 1993), they are not consistently included in 
studies examining the knowledge gap and international news. However, studies that have included 
such measures have found a significant positive association with international news knowledge 
(Kwak, Poor, & Skoric, 2006). 
H4:  Domestic political knowledge  will be positively associated with international news 
knowledge. 
Finally, although previous studies of the knowledge gap and international news have not 
included variables measuring social media use, it is expected that this combination of mediated 
interpersonal  discussion and media use will  logically have a positive association with knowledge 
acquisition.  Along with media use, interpersonal discussion has been demonstrated to be an 
important moderator of the knowledge gap on its own in certain settings (Scheufele, 2002), including 
in the context of international knowledge (Beaudoin, 2008). 
Measuring the use of text messages, e-mail, and social media to interact with foreign events 
offers the opportunity to gauge a person’s interest and engagement with international news in a 
distinct and potentially important different manner than measuring those concepts separately. 
Additionally,  active  social media use  has been found to be  positively associated  with knowledge 


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