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Internet gives power to the people

December 11, 2005

A new study from the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future says that the Internet is changing politics for the better. An increasing number of people now believe that the web can give them more political power; 39.8% of Internet users agree with that statement, up from 27.3% last year.

“More than three-quarters of users who went online for political campaign information sought insight regarding issues and candidates about which they were undecided,” said Jeffrey Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future. “Clearly, the Internet’s role in the American political process will continue to grow, and it could have a significant impact during the Congressional elections of 2006.”

Some other interesting points from the report

  • Internet is a tool to learn about the political process 60.4% of Internet users and 30.4% of non-users agree that the Internet can help people better understand politics.
  • “The Internet provides a direct conduit through which office seekers can reach voters without the media gatekeepers sifting and interpreting politicians’ messages,” said Cole.
  • Increasing use among low-income people (61% up from 50% one year ago) and older Americans (74.9% up from 55% one year ago).

Read a summary of the report here:

Over the next few years the Internet will begin to affect the way that average people interact with leaders (politicians, business leaders and university presidents). As a result, there is going to be an increased demand by the public to have real interactions with these individuals. The public will no longer will be satisfied with just taking the media’s perspective of things.

Leaders will need to identify ways to reach out and interact with people through the Internet. Without these types of interactions the general public will be less trusting and less responsive to your message.


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