Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Political Efficacy and Patterns of Online and Traditional Media Consumption among University Students

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Political Efficacy and Patterns of Online and Traditional Media Consumption among University Students

Article excerpt


Online media has changed political and social attitudes of people. Youth particularly students respond differently from older people regarding online media and internet usage (Ofcom, 2016). Due to online media, people develop different kind of views about socio-political issues, because the same issues are portrayed differently in online and conventional media (Kwong, 2015). Recently there has been a shift from conventional to online media and people are spending more time on online media than traditional media (Global Web Index, 2017). Benefits of online media including ease of access and a two way communication process are among the reasons of this shift. To cope up with this fast paced world, people have shifted from conventional media (including TV, radio and print) to online media. Different people use different sources of information but youth usually prefer online media for political information (Ekström, Olsson, & Shehata, 2014). The main objective of this study is to explore the relationship between political efficacy and consumption patterns of online and traditional media among university students.

Traditional vs. Online Media Consumption

In recent times, there has been a wide use of Internet, mainly due to the advent of social media. The two most popular platforms of social media in recent times are Twitter and Facebook (Davis, Deil-Amen, Rios-Aguilar, & González Canché, 2012). Online media has threatened the existence of traditional media (Salman, Ibrahim, & Mustaffa, 2011). Present era of newspaper decline and coming era of television decline would be the worst economic collapse (Mitchell & Holcomb, 2016). Since the arrival of online media, the advertising revenues of newspapers have been falling down. Due to the ease of excess of online newspapers, a large number of people prefer online media. Some newspaper organizations are under crisis (Price, 2015). Due to the crisis, several newspaper organizations have shut down their companies. The companies, which have not been shut down, have lowered the salaries of their employees, cut down the number of physical newspaper publication and moved towards online publications (Lucena, 2011).

Due to online media, the way of obtaining and processing information has been changed. In the past, most of the information obtained by the newspaper organizations came from the field work. Now news media organizations gather stories from online media, social networking websites and blogs (Alejandro, 2010). Many news media organizations have also created online websites to reach to a large number of audiences (Garrison, 1996, 2001).

The West, especially the United States of America, has been affected badly by the shift from conventional to online media. Although the online media has also affected the traditional media in the Eastern countries but the effect is not to that extent as in USA or UK. Along with this, there are many people all over world who still prefer newspaper and TV instead of Internet (Ahlers, 2006; Nossek, Adoni, & Nimrod, 2015). Some newspapers in few Asian countries have even increased their circulation since the arrival of online media (Hooke, 2012). On the other hand, some experts have predicted that soon electronic media will be eliminated once and for all (Nguyen, 2006). There are many experts who are of the view now that the shift from conventional media to online media should be accepted as it is, and the Eastern countries should rely more on digital newspapers to increase their advertising outcomes (Chukwu, 2014).

A study conducted by Schweiger (2000) showed that German media consumers consider conventional media more credible as compared to online media. Another study showed that Koreans consider traditional media to be a reliable source of news information as compared to online news formats (Yi Park, 2005). However, there are contradictory studies as well. Results of a study conducted in 1998, showed that people considered online newspapers and magazines more credible than traditional media (Johnson & Kaye, 1998). …

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