The Myth of Digital Democracy

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2009 - Computers - 181 pages
6 Reviews

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 Democracy reveals 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 pages, 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.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: The Myth of Digital Democracy

User Review  - Shannon Sickmon - Goodreads

An engaging and thorough analysis of the alleged democratization of politics through the internet. Well researched, even if some of his theories are a bit wonky. Read full review

Review: TheMyth of Digital Democracy by Hindman, Matthew ON Oct-27-2008, Paperback

User Review  - Dénes - Goodreads

This book is a useful amalgam of large scale quantitative analyses and a well-researched overview of how the tools provided by the internet were being utilized in the US. The author makes some very ... Read full review

Contents

III
1
IV
4
V
8
VI
12
VII
16
VIII
20
IX
21
X
26
XXVI
86
XXVII
90
XXVIII
91
XXIX
99
XXX
102
XXXI
103
XXXII
105
XXXIII
113

XI
27
XII
34
XIII
38
XIV
41
XV
45
XVI
54
XVII
56
XVIII
60
XIX
67
XX
68
XXI
70
XXII
78
XXIII
80
XXIV
82
XXV
83
XXXIV
118
XXXV
125
XXXVI
127
XXXVII
129
XXXVIII
131
XXXIX
133
XL
139
XLI
141
XLII
143
XLIII
150
XLIV
151
XLV
155
XLVI
173
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Matthew Hindman is assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University.