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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 17 - 2010, No. 2

Political Discussion and News Use in the Contemporary Public Sphere: The “Accessibility” and “Traversability” of the Internet

, pages: 63-82

This article is directed toward understanding the impact of Internet use on the accessibility of politically relevant online discourse (news and political discussion) and about the extent to which these forms of discourse are meaningfully and intimately connected. Through the use of nationally representative survey data, fi ndings suggest: (1) when compared to offl ine counterparts, SES and political knowledge are equally, if not more relevant to frequent use of online news and engagement in online political discussion, suggesting that Internet use has contributed to a slightly less accessible public sphere; (2) when compared to offl ine counterparts, the relationship between online news and online discussion is the strongest, suggesting an especially intimate and important connection between the two forms of discourse.

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