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Grounded in Media System Dependency theory, this work investigates the impact of new media on political efficacy. It suggests that dependence on online resources affects…
Grounded in Media System Dependency theory, this work investigates the impact of new media on political efficacy. It suggests that dependence on online resources affects people’s perceptions about the democratic potential of the Internet. Using structural equation modeling, the study tests the relationship between political attitudes and the perceived utility of the Web. The analysis employs measures that take into consideration the facilitating role of communication technologies. Results indicate that online political efficacy is associated with individual views about the comprehensiveness and credibility of new media. Efficacy is also linked to the perceived ability of online tools to aid the maintenance of ideologically homogenous social networks. The intensity of Internet dependency relations is found to be predicted by the perceived comprehensiveness – but not credibility – of online news.