Interpersonal Communication, Media Exposure, Opinion Leadership, and Perceived Credibility of News and Advertising During December 2012 Parliamentary Election in Kuwait
This study investigates how a sample of Kuwaiti citizens engaged in interpersonal communication and used traditional and new media during the December 2012 parliamentary election in Kuwait. Hypotheses were developed based on an analysis of macro-level politico-economic and sociocultural factors that affect communication flows in the country and using a two-step flow of information framework. Consistent with predictions, respondents spent more time in interpersonal political discussions than using traditional media. Time spent in face-to-face conversations and on social media to obtain and exchange political information was equal, indicating that social media is an important channel of communication in the region. Newspaper and Internet ads were perceived as the most credible forms of advertising. Opinion leadership positively predicted news and advertising exposure, and perceived credibility mediated these effects.