A mediation path to Chinese netizens’ civic engagement : The effects of news usage, civic motivations, online expression and discussion

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-43
Journal / PublicationChina: An International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


This study refreshes the communication mediation model by integrating impacts of individual psychological traits (civic motivations and political efficacy) with the relationships between Chinese netizens’ media news uses, civic expression/discussion and civic engagement in the model. The results of an online survey (N=490) indicated that new media and conventional media have indirect effects on civic engagement through different mediators. Specifically, reading news from the newspapers has a negative impact on motivations driven by emotion, but directly spurs political efficacy, civic discussion and engagement. By contrast, watching TV news encourages civic discussion, while browsing news online increases the likelihood of participatory behaviours, driven by emotions of anger or sadness. Pressure from social networks is positively related to civic engagement. Motivations of civic duties, emotion and political efficacy are positively related to online civic expression and discussion with social networks about public affairs, both of which are strongly associated with participatory behaviours. © China: An International Journal.

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