“Record Percentage Of Americans, Persons Use Internet For Politics, Survey Finds
By Sarah Lai Stirland June 15, 2008 | 9:56:08 PM
A record percentage of Americans have used the internet to participate in the most closely-watched presidential election in decades, finds a newly-released survey from the non-partisan Pew Internet & American Life Project. The spring 2008 survey finds that a record-breaking 46 percent of all Americans have used the internet, e-mail or cell-phone text messaging to participate in the political process. The survey found that the internet is becoming an increasing part of the norm of political participation — people are using it to read the news, share their views, or to participate in some other process to get others to take political action. “In this season, just the twelfth year of presidential politics online, there is no disputing the fact that the internet has moved from the periphery to the center of national politics,” write Aaron Smith, a research specialist and Lee Rainie, the Pew project’s director in the new survey. Bloggers in general are having a huge impact on the course of election, but the kind of audio and video that they’re digging up is playing a significant role in driving the news cycle, the researchers write. At the same time as Americans’ use of the internet has grown in the political sphere, there’s also a healthy dose of skepticism. Sixty percent of those surveyed, for example, agree with the statement that “The internet is full of misinformation and propaganda that too many voters believe is accurate.” Thirty two percent disagreed with that. A surprising 74 percent of those surveyed disagreed with the statement that they would not be as involved with the campaign if it weren’t for the internet. But age could be the factor that explains that finding. When the Pew researchers broke that out among age groups, a larger portion of the younger groups of people tended to agree that the internet is important in helping them to stay active and connected with the campaigns. The survey also finds that Americans are eager to view source materials for themselves — almost 40 percent of internet users and a third of all adults have gone online to read or watch unfiltered campaign material, such as archived debates, speeches and announcements and position papers. “
More and more people are increasingly using the internet these days to deal with issues, to be more informed.. but you still have to be careful.. even to spit out the bones..