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Gil de Zúñiga, H., Jung, N., Valenzuela, S. (2011). Social media use for news and individuals’ social capital, civic engagement and political participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, forthcoming

Traditional news use activates people’s civic and political involvement and is also related to the proliferation of social capital. Recently, scholars tested how digital media use for informational purposes similarly contributes to foster democratic processes and the creation of social capital. Nevertheless, in the context of today’s socially-networked-society and the rise of social media applications (i.e., Facebook) new perspectives need to be considered. Based on U.S. national data, results show that after controlling for demographic variables, traditional media use offline and online, political constructs (knowledge and efficacy), and frequency and size of political discussion networks, seeking information via social network sites is a positive and significant predictor of people’s social capital and civic and political participatory behaviors, online and offline. 


Gil de Zúñiga, Homero

Homero Gil de Zúñiga Ph.D., Universidad Europea de Madrid, 2006; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2008), is assistant professor at University of Texas – Austin where he leads the Community, Journalism & Communication Research unit in the School of Journalism....

Jung, Nakwon

Nakwon Jung (PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2010) is assistant professor at Tennessee Tech University where he teaches classes in digital media and conducts research aiming to shed light over the role of digital media as the foundation of a more informed citizenry.

Valenzuela, Sebastian

Sebastián Valenzuela (MA, University of Texas at Austin, 2007) is a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on public opinion, journalism and the Internet.

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