Myth of Digital Democracy

ISBN-10: 0691138680
ISBN-13: 9780691138688
Edition: 2009
List price: $29.95 Buy it from $3.98
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Description: Is the Internet democratizing American politics? Do political Web sites and blogs mobilize inactive citizens and make the public sphere more inclusive?The Myth of Digital Democracyreveals that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet has done  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/16/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.902
Language: English

Is the Internet democratizing American politics? Do political Web sites and blogs mobilize inactive citizens and make the public sphere more inclusive?The Myth of Digital Democracyreveals that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet has done little to broaden political discourse but in fact empowers a small set of elites--some new, but most familiar. Matthew Hindman argues that though hundreds of thousands of Americans blog about politics, blogs receive only a miniscule portion of Web traffic, and most blog readership goes to a handful of mainstream, highly educated professionals. He shows how, despite the wealth of independent Web sites, online news audiences are concentrated on the top twenty outlets, and online organizing and fund-raising are dominated by a few powerful interest groups. Hindman tracks nearly three million Web sites, analyzing how their links are structured, how citizens search for political content, and how leading search engines like Google and Yahoo funnel traffic to popular outlets. He finds that while the Internet has increased some forms of political participation and transformed the way interest groups and candidates organize, mobilize, and raise funds, elites still strongly shape how political material on the Web is presented and accessed. The Myth of Digital Democracy. debunks popular notions about political discourse in the digital age, revealing how the Internet has neither diminished the audience share of corporate media nor given greater voice to ordinary citizens.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
The Internet and the ""Democratization"" of Politics
Democratization and Political Voice
A Different Critique
Gatekeeping, Filtering, and Infrastructure
The Difference between Speaking and Being Heard
The Lessons of Howard Dean
The Liberal Medium?
""Big Mo'"" Meets the Internet
The Internet and the Infrastructure of Politics
The End of the Beginning
""Googlearchy"": The Link Structure of Political Web Site

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