ERIC Number: ED150600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Nonvoting, Age and Mass Media Use.
O'Keefe, Garrett J.
This study examined the voting motivations and news media viewing habits that underlie non-voting behavior. Data for the study were taken from a 1976 national survey of non-voters focusing on the respondents' reasons for not voting and self-evaluations of their news media usage. Reasons for not voting were judged to be either substantive (disaffection for political candidate/party/system), neutral (lack of information), or technical (matters of convenience). Results indicated that the young and the elderly non-voters attached greater importance to substantive reasons. Although non-voters' and voters' mass media viewing habits do not appear to differ markedly, 18-to-24-year-old and over-65-year-old non-voters considered the news reporting on television and in newspapers to be less helpful, and television news reporting less fair, than other age groups of non-voters. Although these study results are not conclusive, they suggest that televised news might have a critical role in non-voting behavior, thus questioning the general notion that greater public affairs media use encourages voting. Possible explanations of the results and considerations for future research are discussed. A bibliography and ten tables of research data are included. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (60th, Madison, Wisconsin, August 21-24, 1977)