The Influence of Group Communication, Government–Citizen Interaction, and Perceived Importance of New Media on Online Political Discussion

Na Liu, Xinzhi ZHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Online political discussion is a growing form of political behavior and plays an important role in political deliberation in the new media age. This article examines “daily talk” as a type of political deliberation, and emphasizes two overlooked factors that influence online political discussion: direct government–citizen interactions and perceptions of the importance of new media for online political discussion. It also examines the moderation effects of perceived importance of new media on group communication and government–citizen interaction. Survey data analysis from the 2008 Civic Engagement survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (n = 2,251) reveals that citizens' interactions with both members of their political group and government officials have positive influences on the frequency of online political discussion. Meanwhile, the association between online political discussion and online group communication becomes stronger when one perceives that new media are less important as source of political information. The theoretical and policy implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-461
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy and Internet
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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