A full 65 percent of households have a broadband connection at home, down from a high of 70 percent in 2016 and more than 80 percent of Americans are able to access the Internet from their phones.
Thirty-seven percent of Internet users have interacted with others about the news on the internet, creating it, commenting on it, or spreading it through social networking sites.
The digital age has made politics more personal.
We haven't known our fellow citizens outside of our own communities, we haven't been able to investigate the issues ourselves, and we've had no idea what actions our government has taken to deal with issues.
We need the mass media to connect us to our government and to give us a place to discuss issues.
New forms of political community and more immediate access to information are made possible by technological developments.
Government officials can communicate with us.
Politicians have not been shy about using networking sites to create networks of supporters.
People with common interests can find each other in chat rooms and blogs, allowing discussion and debate on a scale never before imagined.
Some visionaries think of the day when we will all vote electronically on individual issues from our home computers.
If we have not yet arrived at that day of direct democratic decision making, changes in the media are still revolutionizing the possibilities of democracy, much as the printing press and television did earlier, bringing us closer to the Athenian ideal of political community in cyberspace.
All the major newspapers and broadcast news organizations are multimedia ventures.
Access to these sites is sometimes free, but that makes it hard for people to subscribe, which makes it hard for news organizations to report the news.
We can personalize our web news by searching for the topics we want and connecting to related sites.
Non political news can be bypassed by politics buffs.
The federal government makes a lot of information available at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
The web has given rise to many other sources of news.
The wide open web has a low barrier to entry compared to print and broadcast media, which has a scarcity of space and airtime.
Readers can use web-based applications to personalize their news feeds.
Simple and inexpensive applications such asWordPress, Stitcher, and YouTube can be used to set up a video channel for anyone with a phone.
This new technology allows individuals to create content that is personal, political, cultural, or anything in between--ranging from individual diaries to investigative journalism.
Processing information on the web can be difficult due to the proliferation of web sites that provide news.
The task of sorting and evaluating that information is solely ours, as we discussed in Chapter 1.
Not only does the web provide information, but it is also interactive to a degree that far surpasses talk radio or television.
All sorts of information can be shared, topics debated, and people met on most social media and web sites.
Readers can comment on articles and posts on most online news sources.
Political campaigns began to take advantage of this in 2008, using online technology and social networking principles to organize, raise
The new media landscape is fertile ground for positive changes according to some observers.
Dan Gillmor believes that a powerful, citizendriven journalism is taking the place of a ratings-driven corporate journalism, that information is gathered and disseminated in real time with multiple researchers on the job to correct and assist each other.
Sullivan agrees with Gillmor that the first journalistic model that harnesses the true democratic nature of the web is blogging.
The demise of the old media and the rise of the new made Sullivan more hopeful for democracy.
He said that the best of the new media is the mischievous spirit of journalism and free, unfettered inquiry.
The establishment of both wings of American politics has made journalism too self-loving and rich to be what we need it to be.
We need it to be fearless and obnoxious, out of a conviction that more speech is always better than less.
For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of many special cases.
Many of the models rely on amateur researchers and writers.
Many of the models rely on grants or endowments.
The results will be distributed by 14 year olds.
Many of the models will fail.
His job was to break down traditional boundaries between journalism and political activism, reporting and analysis.
He had changed the way a writer could interact with an audience by the time he retired.
It was a perfect medium for Sullivan to use.
He was educated at Oxford and Harvard and was the editor of the New Republic before he was thirty.
He was able to combine advocacy and fact-sifting in a form of journalism that broke with the old models of newsgathering and dissemination.
Sullivan was a Catholic, a conservative, British-born, America-loving, married gay man who considered himself a libertarian with a deep thread of compassion and humanitarianism running through it all.
He showed a remarkable ability to change his mind about deeply held views if new evidence appeared or was presented with a persuasive counterargument.