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Democracy in the digital age - Essay Example

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As a result, they end up playing a leading role in determining new perspectives to the issue of freedom of speech, and by extension democracy. According to Balkin (2004), the Digital Age does not…
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Democracy in the digital age

Download file to see previous pages... As Balkin (2004) argues, digital technologies increase opportunities for widespread cultural participation and social interaction at scales previously unimaginable. For instance, the internet allows individuals to access global audiences and sources of information with considerable ease and convenience. Almost anyone with access to the internet can publish a blog, interact with individuals from all corners of the earth and share experiences. According to Shane et al (2009), digital technology promotes democracy as a core individual and community need, with those able to access digital tools and skills acquiring social, economic and political advantage over those without. Democracy arising from the advent of the Digital Age is further exemplified by the impact of the internet in development of informed communities driven by the values of openness, empowerment, inclusion, participation and the pursuit of truth. A stark reminder of the power of digital communication is in its recent role in organizing entire populations across North Africa in a series of coups against undemocratic governance (ICG 2011).
However, the digital revolution has also created opportunities for increased limiting and control of cultural participation and interaction. Balkin (2004) discusses how conflict arises due to the advent of the digital age. First, it has to be appreciated that the digital revolution is both an economic and a technological phenomenon. The same features that empower ordinary individuals including cheaper distribution of information and easy reproduction and transfer also attract commercial interests. Here, DVDs, compact discs and streaming forms of media are the perfect examples in terms of low cost production and distribution. The observed democratization by digital technology is thus in conflict with commercial interests as it leads to issues of intellectual ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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