By Henry Jenkins, David Thorburn

Digital expertise is altering our politics. the realm extensive internet is already a robust effect at the public's entry to govt records, the strategies and content material of political campaigns, the habit of citizens, the efforts of activists to move their messages, and the ways that themes input the general public discourse. The essays accumulated right here catch the richness of present discourse approximately democracy and our on-line world. a few participants supply front-line views at the influence of rising applied sciences on politics, journalism, and civic adventure. What occurs, for instance, once we elevate entry to info or extend the world of unfastened speech? different members position our transferring figuring out of citizenship in old context, suggesting that notions of cyber-democracy and on-line group needs to develop out of older versions of civic existence. nonetheless others give some thought to the worldwide circulation of data and try out our American conceptions of cyber-democracy opposed to advancements in different elements of the realm. How, for instance, do new media function in Castro's Cuba, in post-apartheid South Africa, and within the context of multicultural debates at the Pacific Rim? For a few members, the recent applied sciences endanger our political tradition; for others, they promise civic renewal.

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Extra info for Democracy and New Media (Media in Transition)

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And what the new generation eventually does with the technology may turn out to be quite different from what those of us who come from a word culture have in mind. Farewell textbased civilization! I suspect that most of the people reading this chapter come from a context that is prejudiced in favor of text and that we simply assume words will continue to prevail, if with greater speed and with better graphics. As an educator, however, I suspect that people brought up in a world of fast-moving electronic images will lose touch with the significance and importance of words and cease to use the new technology as a word enhancer and instead focus on its more suitable use as an image enhancer.

The new media specialize and niche-market and individuate beautifully, and this may advantage the politics of special interests and nondeliberative polling; but it clearly disadvantages deliberation and the pursuit of common ground and undermines the politics of democratic participation. It cannot help in the pursuit of national, common, and civic identity, and without these forms of association, democracy itself becomes problematic. Privatizing the Media: Destroying Democracy This criticism returns us to the nub of my debate (in chapter 9) with Ira Magaziner.

Fewer than 50 percent of eligible voters participated in the 1996 presidential elections, and even fewer participate in primaries and most local elections. The importance of the availability of the vote cannot, however, be exaggerated. Imagine the public’s wrath if someone decided to begin restricting voting rights rather than extending them, as has been the historical trend since the founding of the republic. A well-designed national system of interactive information technology for consideration of important issues could be expected to be 27 28 Lloyd Morrisett similarly treasured, but not necessarily universally used.

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Democracy and New Media (Media in Transition) by Henry Jenkins, David Thorburn
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