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Comunicar Journal 69: Citizen participation in the digital sphere (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Digital media and university political practices in the public sphere


Ana-Laura Maltos-Tamez

Francisco-Javier Martínez-Garza

Oscar-Mario Miranda-Villanueva


In a predominantly digital communicative context, the political practices of young university students are relevant for the vitality of public spheres and the consolidation of participatory democracy. The objective of this study was to learn how the use of digital media relates to the political talk and participation practices of university students. Using quota sampling, a survey was conducted among 435 undergraduate students residing in the Metropolitan Area of Monterrey, Mexico, during the second semester of 2020. Among these students with favorable access to digital media, positive correlations with small to moderate and statistically significant magnitudes were found between the various uses of digital media and their political practices. News use was moderately correlated with political talk, as was social use with politically motivated activities, and creative use with all forms of participation. Political talk mainly affected the relationship between participation and news use. These findings support the relevance of the active role of young people in their political socialization, as social interaction and content creation were more closely correlated with political participation than news consumption was, which was more beneficial to participation when articulated through political talk.


Digital media, political talk, political participation, public sphere, young people, university students