The myth of digital democracy

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Princeton University Press, 2009 - Computers - 181 pages
5 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.

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Review: The Myth of Digital Democracy

User Review  - Shannon S. - 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


One The Internet and the Democratization of Politics
Two The Lessons of Howard Dean
The Link Structure of Political Web Sites

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