This study investigates factors that have influence on the diversity of public affairs issues considered by individuals in the new media environment, exemplified by the Internet. By analyzing two data sets of the 2004 and 2008 American National Election Studies (ANES), we found that individuals are likely to consider more issues, as they are exposed to the Internet, even after controlling for key variables, such as socio-economic status, political interest, and traditional media use in 2008 study. Further, specific exposure to campaign was found significantly associated with agenda diversity in 2008 study. When both of Internet use and specific exposure were taken into account, the effects of Internet use vanished, indicating that specific exposure plays a mediating role. We also found that education and interest in public affairs are significant predictors of agenda diversity. Implications of the findings are discussed.
- Agenda diversity
- Rich media