The myth of digital democracy
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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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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audience Benkler Bimber bloggers blogosphere broadcast candidate chapter circulation claims classified communities concentration costs coverage crawls Daily Kos Dean campaign Dean's debate decision boundary democracy Democratic elites example focused fund-raising gatekeepers Gini coefficient Google's Gun control Hitwise Hitwise data Hitwise's Hugh Hewitt hyperlinks important infrastructure inlinks Instapundit Internet politics Internet service provider journalists liberal link structure look magazine circulation media sites metrics million MoveOn MoveOn.org newspapers Noam number of links number of sites Obama's off-line online content online politics ordinary citizens organizations outlets patterns percent political blogs political information political scientists political sites political voice political Web sites popular power-law radio ranked readership sample scholars search engines shows sites receive social suggests survey Table thousands top bloggers top fifty traditional media U.S. Congress U.S. politics users visitors visits volunteers Web traffic winners-take-all Wonkette Yahoo York