Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication

Document Type



This dissertation explores the potential and role of the Internet-based media in the Kyrgyz Republic’s political processes after the 2005 March Revolution. It uses a model of interaction between the government and citizens through various types of realities: the reality constructed and imposed by the state-controlled media, the reality created by alternative, independent sources of information online, and the realities experienced by citizens in their daily lives. The model pulled together various theories from political science, sociology, psychology, and mass communication and focused on the exit-voice-loyalty options available for the citizens in response to governance practices. The research project uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods. The results of content analysis have shown that in coverage of the 2007 Constitutional Referendum, independent Internet-based media indeed constructed a reality alternative to the official propaganda imposed by state media and were more critical of the government in terms of good governance practices than the state media. Further, the results of surveys and focus groups provide the evidence that Internet-based media play a significant role in shaping perceptions of good governance among politically interested Internet-based media users toward more negative evaluations of and higher levels of frustration with the government performance. Finally, the Internet media use is associated with the higher levels of intent to leave the country (i.e., exercise the exit option) among the research participants with low political interest.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Robert K. Goidel