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Does Interactivity Serve the Public Interest?: The Role of Political Blogs in Deliberative Democracy

Kim Garris, Jamie Guillory and S. Shyam Sundar
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Kim Garris: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, USA
Jamie Guillory: Cornell University, USA
S. Shyam Sundar: Pennsylvania State University, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2011, vol. 1, issue 1, 1-18

Abstract: Political blogs are distinguished by their heightened interactivity, allowing users to participate directly in the political process. Does the interactivity afforded by political blogs really serve the public interest by contributing to deliberative democracy? A longitudinal between-subjects experiment was conducted during the week preceding an election to answer this question. Results suggest that there is a trade-off between information provided and interaction offered to blog users, which can impact their engagement in democratic discourse. Registered voters and unregistered users responded in opposite ways, with theoretical implications for the Elaboration Likelihood Model and the psychology of interactivity as well as practical implications for the use of interactivity in promoting deliberative democracy.

Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:igg:jicst0:v:1:y:2011:i:1:p:1-18