News, Talk, Opinion, Participation: The Part Played by Conversation in Deliberative Democracy

Joohan Kim, Robert O. Wyatt, Elihu Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

220 Citations (Scopus)


Deliberative democracy can be defined as a political system based on citizens' free discussion of public issues. While most scholars have discussed deliberative democracy normatively, this study attempts to test the validity of a model of deliberative democracy through examining the interrelationships among its four components: newsmedia use, political conversation, opinion formation, and political participation. Sufficient empirical evidence was found to support the hypotheses that (a) news-media use is closely associated with the frequency of political conversation in daily life both at general and issue-specific levels; (b) willingness to argue with those who have different opinions is influenced by majority perceptions and by news-media use and political talk; (c) news-media use and political conversation have positive effects on certain measures of the quality of opinions (argument quality, consideredness, and opinionation) and perhaps on opinion consistency; and (d) news-media use and political conversation are closely associated also with participatory activities, but more so with "campaigning" than "complaining."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-385
Number of pages25
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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