The internet and democratic debate (27 Oct 2004)
As wired Americans increasingly go online for political news and commentary, we find that the internet is contributing to a wider awareness of political views during this year’s campaign season.
This is significant because prominent commentators have expressed concern that growing use of the internet would be harmful to democratic deliberation. They worried that citizens would use the internet to seek information that reinforces their political preferences and avoid material that challenges their views. That would hurt citizens’ chances of contributing to informed debates.
The new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Information survey belies those worries. It shows that internet users have greater overall exposure political arguments, including those that challenge their candidate preferences and their positions on some key issues.
Article URL: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/141/report_display.asp
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