ERIC Number: ED173782
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: 0
Mass Media Use and Political Knowledge. Journalism Monographs Number Sixty-One.
A study was conducted to test identical models of the political learning process with data concerning national and local issues. These models hypothesized ways in which political learning from mass media is affected by such factors as strength of information flow, political system level, individual media exposure, interpersonal discussion, membership in political groups, and education. Personal interviews were conducted with 373 voting-age subjects in which each respondent was asked to nominate a personally important political problem. Each subject was also characterized by the above factors. Content analysis of mass media coverage of nominated problems at the national and local levels was conducted during the two weeks before the interviewing. This analysis was used to divide both the local and national issue-focused samples into high- and low-coverage treatment groups. Results indicated that the processes that govern political learning differ greatly according to both the political system level and the level of mass media coverage. In the high coverage/national issues treatment, only education among the model's background variables retained a significant association with information holding. In the low coverage/national issues treatment, the previous patterns did not carry over; indicators of recent exposure to information and other indicators of generalized interest failed to show evidence of direct effects on information holding. In the high coverage/local issues treatment, interpersonal discussion emerged as the primary source of information holding. In the low coverage/local issues treatment, the model was less successful in explaining variation in information holding than it was for the other three treatments. (DF)
Descriptors: Broadcast Industry, Communication (Thought Transfer), Information Dissemination, Learning Processes, Mass Media, Media Research, Models, News Media, Newspapers, Political Attitudes, Political Influences, Public Opinion, Television
AEJ Publications Manager, School of Journalism, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455 ($2.50)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Education in Journalism.
Note: Figures may not reproduce well due to small type