Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Increasing use of Internet for politics

It's not quite new news, but interesting nonetheless that ins 2008, for the first time, more than half of Americans used the Internet to get political news or to get involved in the political process. The data come from a survey done for the Pew Internet & American Life Project. I remember as the 2008 primaries were getting underway I talked to one of Ron Paul's campaign managers, Kent Snyder, who told me 2008 would be the year of the Internet in American politics. (Shockingly. Kent has since died; I'm so glad I had a chance to meet him and talk with him personally twice, at the Reagan Library and later in New Hampshire, after talking with him on the phone for years.) It looks as if he was right, at least to some extent. 33 percent of online users shared political content with others, if only by forwarding an e-mail. Techies are starting to dominate.

Even so, however, television remains the dominant news medium. The striking thing is that with Fox and MSNBC extant, people can get news that slants toward their persuasions pretty reliably, and increasing numbers of Americans are doing just that -- consuming all the news thatg fits their prejudices. It can't be good for democracy, but then democracy is a lousy way to govern anyway, as our founders knew.

1 comment:

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