Social Indicators Research

, Volume 140, Issue 3, pp 999–1016 | Cite as

Media Use and Satisfaction with Democracy: Testing the Role of Political Interest

  • Wen-Chun ChangEmail author


In the process of political communication, media use has strong influences on citizens’ attitudes toward politics. However, the importance of political interest in shaping the relationship between media use and satisfaction with democracy has not been extensively studied. This study makes a contribution to identify the role of political interest in mediating the effects of media use on satisfaction with democracy. Consistent with the virtuous circle theory, the findings from this study show that there are significantly positive associations between reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, and using the Internet for political information and political interest. Citizens who are more interested in politics also tend to be more satisfied with democracy. By contrast, in accordance with the media malaise theory, our results also show that reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, and using the Internet for political information are negatively related to satisfaction with democracy. Distinct from existing literature, our findings indicate that the indirect positive effects of media use mediated by political interest are outweighed by the negative direct effects of media use on satisfaction with democracy. Hence, the relative magnitudes of direct and indirect effects are critical for the overall effects of media use on satisfaction with democracy.


Media use Political interest Satisfaction with democracy 



Funding was provided by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST-106-2410-H-305-038).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public FinanceNational Taipei UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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