Media Use and Environmental Engagement: Examining Differential Gains from News Media and Social Media

Nan Zhang, Marko M. Skoric


This study examines how the uses of news media and social media are linked to environmental activism and consumerism. The analysis of survey data from Hong Kong (N = 1,047) demonstrates positive relationships between news media use and these two types of environmental engagement. Findings also reveal that political use of social media is positively associated with both environmental activism and consumerism, whereas relational use of social media is negatively associated with environmental activism but positively related to environmental consumerism. Notably, the associations are moderated by membership in environmental nongovernment organizations (ENGOs). The positive relationship between news media consumption and environmental engagement tends to be stronger for ENGO members than nonmembers, whereas the positive association between political use of social media and environmental engagement is stronger for nonmembers. These findings shed new light on the equalizer role of social media in environmental engagement and highlight the importance of softer forms of engagement in proenvironmental activities.


news media, social media, environmental engagement, Hong Kong

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