Against this background, this qualitative study seeks to answer three key questions:
- What relevance do online intermediaries have for different user groups regarding the information on social relevant questions?
- How are online intermediaries and the contents, which are being communicated via intermediaries, integrated in the specific practices and networks of shaping opinions?
- What do different population groups know about the technical selective achievements of online intermediaries and to what extend does this (non-existing) knowledge go along with the reflected use of online intermediaries?
These key questions will be addressed with a qualitative research design that will examine six groups. The characteristics “age” as well as “focus of the group on political engagement” will vary for the recruitment of the groups.
The following survey methods will be used:
- Group interviews (6 group interviews with 4-6 person each)
- In-depth individual interviews with selected group members (3 persons each from the 6 groups), in which a network card will be created along with the use of online intermediaries accompanied by thinking aloud.
The conducted empirical data material will be analysed in a multi-level procedure and edited in form of single portraits as well as group portraits. The comparative synthesis will be the basis for answering the leading questions.