The influence of group communication, government-citizen interaction, and perceived importance of new media on online political discussion

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-461
Journal / PublicationPolicy and Internet
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


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. © 2013 Policy Studies Organization.

Research Area(s)

  • government-citizen interaction, group communication, Internet use, online political discussion, perceived importance of new media

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Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on his previous affiliation.