Patricia Moy, Michael A. Xenos, and Muzammil M. Hussain
For decades, political communication scholars have sought to better understand the various impacts of mediated communication on political behaviors that constitute the essence of democratic citizenship. Focusing on the key concepts of voter turnout, political participation, civic engagement, and political conversation, this chapter explores how various forms of media content shape individuals' political behaviors. It examines the extent to which these behaviors are a function not only of traditional news media, but also of political entertainment content, which in recent years has provided citizens with increasingly diverse perspectives about the political world. Discussion of these effects – and how they can change over time – is couched within larger issues related to the evolving media and political landscapes.
Driven by strong concerns about the state of democracy, political communication researchers consistently tackle a vast array of questions related to citizens' thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. How do individuals understand and feel about issues in the world? To what extent and in what venues do citizens express their opinions? Under what circumstances do they come to take action about problems in their community? The thrust of these intellectual undertakings relates to the role that communication ...