Mohamed Ahmed

Students’ Exposure to Political News on the Internet and Political Awareness: A Comparison between Germany and Egypt

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Kurzfassung in Englisch

The recent political events in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia (2011) have confirmed the key role of social networks (SNSs), as well as online political news in supporting citizens with their self-determination. Furthermore, “changes in the media landscape present new challenges for scholars interested in the relationship between the media and civil society. Additionally, the explosion of the Internet that started in advanced democracies and has spread through much of the globe provides new and unexplored pathways for communication. Moreover, the inclusion of the Internet in the media environment raises new questions for citizens, politicians, researchers, journalists, and government” (Oates, Owen & Gibson, 2006, p. 1).
This study looks at the relationships between young people’s exposure to political news on the Internet and their political awareness. It develops and applies an index for political participation composed of several variables measuring political interest, discussion, knowledge, and participation. The survey among students in both countries was administered in Arabic and German, while the master questionnaire was developed in English. The survey was conducted between April and June 2010 in Egypt at Minia University and in Germany at Technical university of Dresden. The sample size was 1000 (500 in each country) students from several departments representing different academic fields: three departments of Engineering, three departments of Humanities and Social Science, and finally three departments of Natural Science.
The study’s main research question was: “What is the impact of students’ exposure to political news on the Internet on their political awareness and civic activities?” The researcher started from the hypothesis that heavy use of political news on the Internet is positively related to political awareness. A further research question aimed at gauging the role of intervening variables such as gender and field of study for the relationship between the use of political news on the Internet and the level of political awareness.
Results show that there is a positive relationship between using political online news and political awareness. German students’ political awareness for German students was higher than Egypt student’s political awareness (M=63.02, SD=15.65, comparing to M=45.72, SD= 17.65 for Egyptians).

weitere Metadaten

Schlagwörter
(Englisch)
Online Political News, Use Media, Political Awareness, Political Knowledge, Political Participation, Civic Activities, Egyptian and Germany Media System
DDC Klassifikation079
RVK KlassifikationAP 15978, AP 15999
Institution(en) 
HochschuleTechnische Universität Dresden
FakultätPhilosophische Fakultät
InstitutInstitut für Kommunikationswissenschaft
BetreuerProf. Dr. phil. habil. Wolfgang Donsbach
GutachterProf. Dr. phil. habil. Wolfgang Donsbach
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. habil. Lutz M. Hagen
DokumententypDissertation
SpracheEnglisch
Tag d. Einreichung (bei der Fakultät)18.10.2011
Tag d. Verteidigung / Kolloquiums / Prüfung05.12.2011
Veröffentlichungsdatum (online)12.03.2012
persistente URNurn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-84412
InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS II
ABSTRACT III
TABLE OF CONTENTS IV
INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTER 1 POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IN THE LIFE OF YOUNG PEOPLE……………………………………………………………………………...8
1.1 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL COMMUNICATION 8
1.2. POLITICAL MEDIA USES AND EFFECTS IN THE LIFE OF YOUNG PEOPLE 10
1.3. THE ROLE OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IN ELECTION CAMPAIGNS 12
1.4. THE LITERATURE UP TO NOW IN THIS AREA 14
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESIS 18
1.5.1 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 18
1.5.2 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS 18
CHAPTER 2: CHANGING COMMUNICATION ENVIRONMENT THROUGH THE INTERNET AGE ……………..20
2.1 INTRODUCTION 20
2.2 INTERNET HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT 20
2.3 STRUCTURE, FEATURES AND PHENOMENA OF THE INTERNET 23
2.3.1 MANY TO MANY COMMUNICATION 23
2.3.2 INTERACTIVITY 34
2.3.3 CREDIBILITY 28
2.4 SOCIAL NETWORK (SNSS) 30
2.4.1 SOCIAL NETWORK; DEFINITION, HISTORY, AND DEVELOPMENT 30
2.4.2 SOCIAL NETWORK (SNSS); USERS, CHARACTERISTICS AND FEATURES 32
2.4. 3 BLOGS 35
2.5 INTERNET USE 38
2.5.1 GENERAL TRENDS 38
2.5.2. SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES AND –INTERNET USE 40
2.6. SOCIAL NETWORK AND POLITICAL TRANSFORMATION IN EGYPT 44
2.7 CONCLUSION 47
CHAPTER 3 POLITICAL AWARENESS AND RELATED CONSTRUCTS……….. 49
3.1 INTRODUCTION 49
3.2 POLITICAL COGNITIONS 50
3.3 POLITICAL INTEREST 51
3.4 POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE 52
3.4.1. MEASURING OF POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE 53
3.4.2 MEDIA USE AND POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE 54
3.5. POLITICAL EFFICACY 56
3.5.1 DEFINITION 56
3.5.2. MEASURINGOF POLITICAL EFFICACY 58
3.6. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 59
3.6.1. THE INFLUENCE OF MEDIA ON POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 61
3.6.2. MEASURING OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 62
3.6.3 VOTING 63
3.7. POLITICAL DISCOURSE 66
3.8. POLITICAL AWARENESS 67
3.8.1. CONCLUSION ON THE OPERATIONALIZATION 68
3.8.2. MASS MEDIA AND POLITICAL AWARENESS 70
CHAPTER4: THE POLITICAL AND MEDIA SYSTEMS IN GERMANY AND EGYPT 71
4.1. EGYPTIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM 71
4.2. EGYPTIAN MEDIA SYSTEM 72
4.2.1 HISTORY AND POLITICAL FRAMEWORK 72
4.2.2 THE EGYPTIAN PRESS 75
4.2.3. RADIO AND TV UNION 77
4.2.4 OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS 97
4.3. GERMANY MEDIA SYSTEM AND POLITICAL SYSTEM 81
4.4. GERMANY MEDIA SYSTEM 82
4.4.1 HISTORY AND POLITICAL FRAMEWORK 82
4.4.2 THE GERMANY PRESS 83
4.4.3. RADIO AND TV UNION 84
4.4.4. OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS 85
5.1. CONCLUSION 85
CHAPTER 5: METHODS ………87
5.1. SAMPLE 87
5.2. QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT 88
5.3. FIELDWORK AND DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURE 89
5.3.1 DEPENDENT VARIABLES 89
5.3.2. INDEPENDENT VARIABLE (IV’S) 91
5.4. DATA ANALYSIS …92
5.5. VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF MEASURES.. 93
5.5.1 VALIDITY 93
5.5.2 RELIABILITY 94
CHAPTER 6: RESULTS COMPARING EGYPTIAN AND GERMANY UNIVERSITY STUDENT’S ….95
6.1 POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF MEDIA USE 95
6.1.1 POLITICAL FREEDOM 95
6.1.2 TECHNICAL ACCESS TO INTERNET 98
6.1.3 THE DIGITAL DIVIDE 98
6.2. GENERAL MEDIA EXPOSURE 101
6.2.1 TRADITIONAL OR NEW MEDIA PLATFORM? 102
6.2.2 WHERE AND WHEN DO YOUNG PEOPLE USE THE INTERNET? 104
6.3 EXPOSURES TO POLITICAL MEDIA CONTENT 106
6.3.1 ACCESSING POLITICAL INFORMATION ONLINE 107
6.3.2. THE AMOUNT OF ONLINE COVERAGE OF POLITICAL NEWS 109
6.3.3 CONFIDENCE AND ACCURATE PICTURE OF ONLINE POLITICAL NEWS 110
6.4 POLITICAL AWARENESS 111
6.4.1 POLITICAL INTEREST 111
6.4.2 POLITICAL DISCUSSION 113
6.4.3. POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE 113
6.4.4 POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 116
6.5. INTERNET USE AND POLITICAL AWARENESS 119
CHAPTER 7: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION IN LIGHT OF THEORY AND HYPOTHESIS 126
8. RECOMMENDATIONS 129
9. REFERENCES 130
APPENDICES. 145
A/QUESTIONNAIRE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE 145
B/QUESTIONNAIRE IN GERMAN LANGUAGE 155
C/QUESTIONNAIRE IN ARABIC LANGUAGE 166
APPENDIX. D. AGREEMENT LETTER TO APPLY QUESTIONNAIRE IN EGYPT FROM CENTRAL AGENCY FOR PUBLIC MOBILIZATION AND STATISTICS 175
APPENDIX. E. LIST OF TABLES 176

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