Three PhD candidates in Communication Science started the New Year with single-authored journal articles.
Michael Braun published a research paper on Computers in Human Behavior (Vol., 29, 673–680). The paper, “Obstacles to social networking website use among older adults,” is based on his Master’s thesis. Using the Technology Acceptance Model as his framework, Michael shows that trust, perceived usefulness, and frequency of usage of the social networking websites predict the usage among the 60-90 year olds in his sample.
Wenjie Yan and Jiawen Zheng each published a paper in Chinese on Journalism Quarterly (No. 6, 2012) as part of the symposium on new media and audience. They are members of a research team that has been investigating the civic impact of the media in China. Via multilevel linear modeling, they analyzed the data from the 2010 random sample surveys conducted in the 31 provinces in China.
Jiawen’s paper, “Probing digital inequalities in China,” argues that the notion of “digital divide” (pp. 10-19), based on using the Internet or not is insufficient to capture the full scope of social inequalities associated with the advent of the Internet. She shows that among Internet users, the extent and effectiveness of Internet usage remain significantly lower among those who are older, female, low in socioeconomic status, and rural in their residential location.
Wenjie’s paper, “Media evaluations in the Internet age: Comparing between net users and non-users” (pp. 20-30), shows a visible impact of the Internet in the Chinese society: Compared with non-users, Internet users are more critical of the official traditional media and take the Internet as a more credible medium. Such an impact is civic in nature in light of the fact that the Chinese authority strictly controls the traditional media while the Internet has been a major venue for alternative and civic voices.