Examining the effects of the Internet on American politics, this book reveals its potential as a tool for empowering people to challenge existing power structures. However, the authors show how the American political system tends to normalize political activity, and thus the Internet's vast subversive potential could be lost, rendering it just another purveyor of ignored information.

The Internet, Mass Media, and Public Opinion

The internet, mass media, and public opinion

People online are excited, and this is not an exaggeration. The various discussion forums connected to the Net are the prototype for a new public form of communication. This new form of human communication will either supplement the current forms of news or replace them… The very concept of news is being reinvented as people begin to realize that they can provide the news about the environment they live in… and this information proves worthwhile to others.

Hauben and Hauben, 1997, p. 227

There was a time when starry-eyed Netizens envisioned a counterculture media universe flowering with a million small, personal, way cool Web sites… [A]fter all… the humblest home page is as accessible ...

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