Online politics empowers the people

Via Micah Sifry, I just started reading a new report about how people are using the Internet to participate in the political lifeblood of America... not surprisingly, online politics are on the rise, but the numbers gave me a little surprise:

In 2005, 39.8 percent of Internet users agree that going online can give people more political power -- up from 27.3 percent in the previous study. And, 61.7 percent of respondents -- Internet users and non-users alike -- now agree that going online has become important to political campaigns.

Amen to that. Here's one that also interested me:
"Notably, the largest percentage of these users sought campaign information on traditional media Web sites," said Cole. "A much smaller group used information placed online by the candidates." (39.5 percent to traditional media sites; 27.1 percent to candidates' sites)

Of users who went online to seek campaign information, 91.1 percent sought information about issues or candidates they supported; 77.4 percent also sought information about issues and candidates about which they were undecided.

People are relying heavily on the corporate media to be an unbiased source of information... too bad most of them rolled over during the 2004 election season, huh? But look at that huge number of people going online for issues that they're undecided about: here's where a huge amount of potential rests for progressives to get their message out. Online media remains one of the lowest-cost means of mass distribution, and the prevalence of blogs as sources of news for mainstream America grows exponentially every month. 2006 is shaping up to be quite the election already.

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