Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2017

Faculty Advisor(s)

Christine Ann Gordon


The consensus of research literature dealing with the usage of new forms of news outlets and their effects on voter turnout rates has shifted overtime from having no clear correlation into having a differing correlation depending on which media outlets. Originally, the research about media usage and voter turnout was unclear and showed no evident correlations. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, most research assured the fact that new media outlets, like the Internet, had become a huge source of news content for many citizens, however there was no evidence of a strong correlation between those new news outlets and voter turnout rates. That trend would change as more and more research had been accumulated on media outlets effect on voter turnout rates.

Regardless, most of the datasets conducted, even the relatively new research can be considered out of date when factoring the sheer amount of data from the most recent presidential election which is not completely aggregated nor analyzed. In fact, most articles of research were conducted prior to the 2012 election which does not properly represent an accurate illustration of social media’s influence on voter turnout recently; especially with how rapidly social media has grown as a source of news outlet in the past five years. Therefore, I avoided using social media in my research because of how little available data is out there in the research world. This paper will examine the usage of varying news outlets, from radio to cable to apps, and thereby compare their effects on voter turnout. The paper will uniquely present comparisons of varying news sources, depicting which source is the most likely to enhance voter turnout. Knowing which news outlets spur the greatest rates of voter turnout can be critical for maintaining high levels political participation; an imperative feature of any proper democracy.


Presented at the Spring 2017 Student Research Day at Chapman University.