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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:  8 questions that mixed foreign and domestic political items (Martin, 2009). Other research has found that e-mail use amplifies political knowledge gains from online media due to the ease of sharing news and views with many people simultaneously (Shah, et al., 2005). H5: Use of social media to engage with coverage and discussion of the Haitian earthquake will be positively associated with international news knowledge. H6: Sending and receiving e-mails to engage with coverage and discussion of the Haitian earthquake will be positively associated with international news knowledge. This paper’s second research question concerns how attention to media coverage of foreign affairs may be associated with international participation. Internet use tends to predict civic engagement (Bimber, 2003), and the more time spent online is positively associated with higher levels of engagement (Shah et al., 2002). Meta-analysis has found that measuring Internet use as online news use produces the most reliable, positive, and largest effects with engagement (Boulianne, 2009). Additionally, people who tend to seek out all types of news have been found to be significantly more likely to engage in civic participation (Ksiazek, Malthouse, & Webster, 2010). Specific to international news use and engagement, Kwak, Poor, and Skoric (2006) found that attention to foreign affairs through Internet use was positively associated with international knowledge, a sense of belonging to the global community, and a greater likelihood to participate in international events and foreign volunteer opportunities. They concluded that one of the main functions of Internet news use may be the fostering of international engagement. Although the connection of international news use and international involvement has received relatively little attention, Kwak, Poor, and Skoric (2006) produced consistent results using a variety of measures that showed a general positive association between use of the Internet, consumption of Internet news, and international participation. Additionally, other political communication studies have established the consistent link between various types of media use and

Authors: Martin, Jason A..
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questions that mixed foreign and domestic political items (Martin, 2009). Other research has found 
that e-mail use amplifies political knowledge gains from online media due to the ease of sharing 
news and views with many people simultaneously (Shah, et al., 2005). 
H5:  Use of social media to engage with coverage and discussion of the Haitian earthquake 
will be positively associated with international news knowledge. 
H6:  Sending and receiving e-mails to engage with coverage and discussion of the Haitian 
earthquake will be positively associated with international news knowledge. 
 
This paper’s second research question concerns how attention to media coverage of foreign 
affairs may be associated with international participation. Internet use tends to predict civic 
engagement  (Bimber, 2003), and the more time spent online is positively associated with higher 
levels of engagement  (Shah et al., 2002). Meta-analysis has found that measuring Internet use as 
online news use produces the most reliable, positive, and largest effects with engagement (Boulianne, 
2009).  Additionally, people who tend to seek out all types of news have been found to be 
significantly more likely to engage in civic participation (Ksiazek, Malthouse, & Webster, 2010).  
Specific to international news use and engagement, Kwak, Poor, and Skoric (2006) found 
that attention to foreign affairs through Internet use was positively associated with international 
knowledge, a sense of belonging to the global community, and a greater likelihood to participate in 
international events and foreign volunteer opportunities. They concluded that one of the main 
functions of Internet news use may be the fostering of international engagement.  
Although  the connection of international news use and international involvement has 
received relatively little attention, Kwak, Poor, and Skoric (2006) produced consistent results using a 
variety of measures that showed a general positive association between use of the Internet, 
consumption of Internet news,  and international participation. Additionally, other political 
communication studies have established the consistent link between various types of media use and 


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