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Internet Ranks Highest for Promoting Political Awareness and Civic Involvement Among Young People

The Internet is the best information source for promoting political awareness and civic engagement among youths aged 14-22, according to findings reported in the June issue of Communication Research. Conversely, a heavy diet of television viewing lowered political awareness.

Newspaper consumption among youths heightened political knowledge, but did little to motivate the readers to become active in their communities, researchers concluded.

The study, conducted among 1,501 young people nationwide between April and September, 2004, is the most comprehensive examination to date of media use among young people and how that use relates to civic and political behavior, according to the study’s authors, Josh Pasek, Daniel Romer and Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania and Kate Kenski of the University of Arizona, Tucson.