- Good news for the future? Young people, Internet use and political participation
- Communication Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 38 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The role of traditional media and the Internet in relation to young people’s political participation has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. Starting from a notion of differential media use and an encompassing notion of political participation, this article tests the relationships between media use (newspaper, television, and Internet) and offline and online forms of political participation. Findings from a national survey (n = 2,409, age 16 to 24) reveal that a variety of Internet uses are positively related with different forms of political participation, whereas the relationship between most uses of traditional media and participation are weak, albeit positive. The study rejects the predictive power of duration of media use but finds support for the type of media use. Positive relationships between online communication and noninformational uses of the Internet vis-à-vis participation are found. The research demonstrates how a wider and more contemporary conception of political participation, together with more detailed measures of media use, can help to gain better insight in the roles media can play in affecting participatory behavior among the Internet generation.
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