Podcasting and Politics in Singapore : An Experimental Study of Medium Effects

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-43
Journal / PublicationJournal of Contemporary Eastern Asia
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Abstract

A ban on political podcasting during the General Elections 2006 in Singapore was justified by the Singaporean government on the grounds that the new medium had a greater power to influence voters than traditional modes of political discourse.

A between-subjects controlled experiment was conducted to test whether podcasts of political speeches had a greater power to influence voters` evaluations of political candidates and likelihood of voting for them than online text-based transcripts of the same speeches. The study also examined whether mere exposure to political speeches online, irrespective of the modality, had an effect on voters` more general political preferences, i.e. the likelihood of support and voting for the opposition. The findings suggest that political podcasts were no more persuasive than text-based websites and that the effects on political preferences, if any, were likely due the exposure to political content online, not because of the nature of the medium. The implications of the findings are discussed.

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