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Bachmann

  1. 1. Outlining New Paths to Democracy A Profile of Online Content Creators and its Participatory Effects Ingrid Bachmann Teresa Correa Homero Gil de Zúñ iga School of Journalism University of Texas at Austin INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ONLINE JOURNALISM
  2. 2. Rationale The Web increasingly offers greater opportunities and spaces for people to create, interact, and share material online Scholars have found that these creative behaviors are not randomly distributed among groups  Socio-demographic differences  Psychological differences Engaging in these creative activities may be important for the democratic agenda
  3. 3. Creating content This study focuses on the creation of online political content among US adults, and examines  socio-demographic characteristics  psychological predictors (personality traits and life satisfaction)  political and civic effects (online and offline) Political content creation:  creating blogs  posting comments on blogs  contributing with citizen news  uploading videos to the Internet
  4. 4. Methods Web-based survey National data Valid cases 1,482 (17.3% response rate) Variables/Measures Demographics Life satisfaction, emotional stability, openness to new experiences, extraversion Media use & media trust Participation Online content creation
  5. 5. Findings Content creation Gender Race Education Income Age Content creation -- Gender .04 -- Race -.04 .02 -- Education -.05 -.12*** -.05 -- Income -.07* -.13*** -.02 .42*** -- Age -.16*** -.12** .18*** .06* -.03 -- * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
  6. 6. Findings Content creation Extraversion Emotional stability Openness to new experiences Life satisfaction Content creation -- Extraversion .10* -- Emotional stability -.10** .10** -- Openness to new experiences -.06# .35*** .18** -- Life satisfaction -.10* .14*** .40*** .10* -- # p <.10, * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
  7. 7. Findings Online political participation Offline political participation Civic participation Demographics R2 3.7%*** 13.4%*** 6.6%*** Personality traits R2 2.5%*** 4.5%*** 4.8%*** Media use and trust R2 22.2%*** 5.7%*** 15.3%*** Online content creation R2 12.5*** 3.0%*** 3.1%*** TOTAL R2 41.0%*** 26.5%*** 29.9%*** * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
  8. 8. Conclusions For certain people (young, lower income, extraverted, less stable, less satisfied with their life) less favorable segments of society, the Web may allow the space for them to contribute to civic society and perhaps mitigate their political frustrations. Results indicate that the Internet may indeed be providing new paths to foster modern democracies. As the population of content creators online grows, so does the possibilities for these citizens and other users to engage civically and politically.

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