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Media, interpersonal communication, personal characteristics and online participation for climate change: structural equation modelling to determine digital discourse in Pakistan

Mudassar Hussain (Department of Communication and Media Research, University of the Punjab Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan and Department of Mass Communication, Lahore Garrison University, Lahore, Pakistan)
Noshina Saleem (Department of Communication and Media Research, University of the Punjab Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan)
Mian Ahmad Hanan (Department of Communication and Media Research, University of the Punjab Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan)
Rab Nawaz Lodhi (Department of Communication and Media Research, University of the Punjab Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan and Hailey College of Commerce, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 2 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to fill the gap by researching the direct effects of media and personal characteristics on online participation in climate change, indirect effects when mediated by interpersonal communication and personal characteristics as predictors of media communications as sources of information about climate change.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire is distributed to collect data about the uses of communication sources and online responses toward climate change by using a quota sampling technique. The structural equation modeling by using Smart PLS 4 is used to explore the effects’ size.

Findings

Small levels of direct and indirect effects are found. Direct effects are found in online newspapers, YouTube, television news, personal relevance toward climate change and political interest in online participation in climate change. Indirect effects are found of WhatsApp on online climate participation through interpersonal communication. Personal relevance toward climate change has motivated respondents to take information about climate change from Facebook. Climate skepticism is found among respondents who have received information from television news/talk shows, printed newspapers and WhatsApp.

Practical implications

University teachers in Pakistan will have to work on educational strategies to increase the knowledge of university students about energy generation through carbon and renewable energy sources.

Originality/value

The results of this study highlight the communicative-cultural dimensions of online discourse about climate change in the context of the less-researched country of Pakistan. This is the first study of researchers’ knowledge that comprehensively defines the digital media ecology in the context of climate change considering Pakistan.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Professor Noshina Saleem who motivated for conducting this project and helped in research design process. Bundle of Thanks to Professor Mian Ahmad Hanan who helped in the methodology section. Thanks also to Dr Rab Nawaz Lodhi who reviewed the research article for mistakes and helped in publishing process.

Funding statement: No funding is received for the project.

Citation

Hussain, M., Saleem, N., Hanan, M.A. and Lodhi, R.N. (2023), "Media, interpersonal communication, personal characteristics and online participation for climate change: structural equation modelling to determine digital discourse in Pakistan", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/GKMC-09-2022-0227

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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