To what extent does the internet represent a more democratic medium of information - Assignment Example

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When in the June 2009, thousands of Iranians took the streets to protests against the rigging in Iranian elections and the oppressive Iranian regime, much of the Western Media credited social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for being the stimulus and source for…
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Download file to see previous pages that when the history of the 20th and 21st century will be written, internet would be labelled as the major stimulus that shaped this era and many of the developments that have been witnessed by these generations (Gaur, 2006, p. 57).
Over the past few years, citizens from various developed countries in the world have become extremely cynical and sceptical of their government, traditional forms of media and governmental institutions for any information. Therefore, these people usually extend greater trust and credibility over the internet, which they are increasingly using to fulfil their information needs. Furthermore, many political parties and politicians, realising the power of internet are using the internet to their advantage (Bennett & Entman, 2000, p. 214). The rise of several populist parties in Europe, some of which now enjoy considerable representation within the parliaments of Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Latvia, Slovakia, Greece and others, have been able to transform their parities because of their extensive reliance over social media (Salter, 2003, p. 118).
Since the internet has the ability to reach billions of people all over the world and absorb their opinions, viewpoints and ideas, the general opinion amongst the public is that internet is a populist and democratic tool. From the surface, it might appear that internet is a highly democratic medium, as it is so diverse, huge, far reaching and dynamics that nobody can control it (Gaur, 2006, p. 57). However, a closer examination makes it apparent that the internet has deeply embedded structural inequalities. For example, consider the fact that the most developed countries in the world, which account for only 16 percent of the world’s population, control 97 percent of all internet hosts (Bennett, 2007, p. 259). Interestingly enough, the 100 least developed countries in the world have only 5 percent of the internet hosts of Iceland. Nevertheless, proponents of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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