Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Twenty-Two: The Impact of News “Voice” on Adolescent Political Efficacy
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CHAPTER TWENTY - TWO
The Impact OF News “Voice” ON Adolescent Political Efficacy
JEREMY LITTAU, LIZ GARDNER, AND ESTHER THORSON
This study focuses on the impact of the style in which news is communicated, a dimension that we call “voice.” We suggest voice is critically important to the process by which young teens acquired political knowledge and exhibited political efficacy in the 2008 presidential election. To provide a rationale for this study, we integrate a number of literature areas under the explanatory context of the Media Choice Model (Thorson & Duffy, 2006), an extensive elaboration of the uses and gratifications approach. Although the central focus of the model is on how the impact of media use is mediated through people’s motivations for using media, it also posits that “voice” is a crucial filter for these processes. As background, we look at what is known about the following influences on political socialization: exposure to television, print, and Internet news, and whether that information occurs in the context of classic news “authoritative” voice; “opinionated” voice like that in blogs or opinionated news like the Fox News Channel; or directly from the politicians themselves, a voice we call “direct to the consumer,” a phrase borrowed from the advertising literature. We also examine what is known about the relationship between political knowledge and efficacy.
Self-Efficacy and Media Use
The notion of self-efficacy, defined as the...
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