Youth, New Media and Political Y th N M di d P liti l Participation in the Election Trisha T. C. Lin
Assistant Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Information Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Trishalin@ntu.edu.sg
Alice, Yah-Huei Hong YahProfessor, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan Alicehong0323@gmail.com
GE2011: Watershed Election
PM said vote swing is because… greater proportion of critical young voters Out of 2.21 million voters in 2011 GE, about 25% of all voters are between ages of 21-35 (Singapore Elections Department 2011)
proliferation of new media
Models of digital youth’s political participation
Engaged vs. Disengaged
‐ obligation in political ‐ participation & voting, ‐ participation in civil society organisations
‐ less government obligation ‐ no meaning in voting ‐ no tr st in mass no trust in mass media
Singapore Youths: DC or AC Type?
• Mixed views about whether they are more engaged or more disengaged over the years or more disengaged over the years • Mixed phenomenon: – Increase in political parties’ youth membership
eg: PAP recruited 1,000 young members in 2009 and opposition parties increased theirs by as much as 50% (Lim 2010)
– Tan, Chung & Zhang (2011):Singaporean youths are generally more politically active than their older counterparts, and are more active in the consumption of political content primarily through online channels – Doubts credibility of government and mass media 4
Singapore Youths: AC Type
• Less obliged to vote The New Paper Survey
Youth’s Media Use in Singapore: The New Paper Survey Doubts credibility of government and mass media
What do we want to find?
• Youth’s political participation & voting behaviour • Youth’s media use (Old & New): Youth s media use (Old & New): – How often? – How important? – How trustworthy? • Youth’s perceptions of new media & impact on voting • Youth’s perceived media control & impact on voting p p g • Youth’s political cynicism affect voting? • Demographics (age, gender, education) affect voting?
How did we do it?
• Post GE2011 national telephone interview (May 2011) • 447 Singaporeans (aged 21‐34) out of 2 000 respondents 447 Singaporeans (aged 21‐34) out of 2,000 respondents
Young Citizens’ Political Participation in 2011 GE
Youth Attended political rallies Volunteered in political parties 30% 3.6% Total 23.6% 2.2% 5.9% 9.9% 9 9%
Wrote to the media, 7.5% government, or MP Wrote on blogs, Facebook, or 28.2% Wrote on blogs, Facebook, or 28 2% Twitter Forward or share online content by email, Facebook or Twitter 20.2%
Youth political participation
• Young Singaporeans increased their political engagement in 2011 GE • Offline political participation remains inactive (similar to the whole Offline political participation remains inactive (similar to the whole population) – 30% attended >1 political rallies in 2011 GE (increased from previous elections) ; 6.4% more than the whole sample – only 3.6% volunteered to assist political parties – 7.5% wrote to media or the government sector about election/politics.
Online > offline
• New media had more pull factors to engage young citizens p g g y g (more active than the whole population) – 28.2% wrote on blogs, Facebook or Twitter about 2011GE (much higher than 9.3% of the whole sample) – 20.2% forwarded or shared online content regarding 2011 GE via emails, Facebook or tweets. (much higher than 9.9% of the whole sample) 10
Young Citizens’ Voting Behavior
Opposition Refuse to answer
Young Citizens’ Political Cynicism Attitude % agreed Too many rules against participating in political 50.2%...