Social Media News Use
Modeling Motivations, News Engagement and Political Knowledge
Recent studies suggest that social media are becoming a vital news source. Yet, motivations for accessing news in socially moderated environments remain largely untapped. Given the role news media play in learning about politics, such news behaviors beg the question for its effects on political knowledge. Based on the uses and gratifications approach and cognitive mediation model, a mediated model of the effects of informational and relational motivations for using Facebook as news source is introduced. By distinguishing between consumptive and expressive news engagement, this model illustrates the process through which motivations relate to political discussion and knowledge. Drawing on survey data, results from regression analyses and structural equation modeling show that informational motivation predict consumptive news engagement, whereas relational motivation is related to expressive news behaviors. Consumptive news engagement is indirectly associated with political discussion, via expressive news engagement. Talking politics, in turn, is positively related to political knowledge. Consumptive news behaviors are further directly and positively related to knowledge about politics, while expressive news engagement is so negatively. Thus, the model presented delivers explanations for different knowledge levels acquired. Overall, results may suggest that different motivations trigger distinct cognitive actions. This study contributes to extant literature by outlining that motivations for and uses of Facebook for news matter in predicting political knowledge. Findings provide novel arguments for the positive role consumptive social media news use can play in political learning. Implications are discussed in light of prior work on information processing mechanisms and give directions for future research.
Christiane Mayer (email@example.com) studierte Communication Science an der
Universität Wien. In ihrem Studium hat sie sich auf Medien- und Kommunikationsforschung spezialisiert. Ihre Forschungsinteressen umfassen die Gebiete digitale Medien und Politik. Sie
war bereits an zahlreichen Forschungsprojekten im universitären und privatwirtschaftlichen