Internet and television are changing the face of political discourse. In his book, Amusing Ourselves To Death Neil Postman gives candid details of how television has shaped political conversation in the last 20 years but this has been overcome by the advent of internet technology. Television has changed much since 1987 in addition to advancements such as HDTV, DVR. News can be watched 24 hours across many networks. For example cable subscribers are able to watch over 1000 channels with the click of a button. Advertising has grown tremendously as ads jam programs in the form of product endorsements and normal commercials.
The internet is not excluded from this change because it offers the users a simple way of accessing news and communication with many people all over the world. Each of these mediums represents a new era in which people try to become politically enlightened while at the same time minimizing the quantity of information they are able to consume (Postman, 13) Political discourse and the media have been changing over the years. Hume observes that, “the television commercial is a primary instrument of political discourse” (Hume, 27).
This is true in the current media although some other instruments like The Daily Show are gaining political importance. Political programs should be placed on the same platform as political commercials instead of using them as the main source of political discourse. Although the commercials have a good impact this is reduced by the video recorders that give user the ability to navigate commercials to view programs that they like most. Internet has become a threat to the television since it is easy to get information easier using the internet.
“Young people don’t buy newspapers or watch the evening news-even or perhaps especially, with cute Katie Couric reading it to them. Blogs are more fun to read and sometimes more reliable” (Leonard, 10). Bloggers have the ability to put emphasis on political candidates, policies and actions that have taken place. As such blogging offers the citizens a chance to comment on stories in a manner that permits freedom of expression. The media has continued to change political discourse significantly though television, internet and advertising. Currently advertisements, blogs and the 24 hour news and internet have a big impact on political discourse.
According to a survey done by Pew Internet it was observed that “15% of all American adults say the internet was the primary source for campaign news during the election, up from 7% in the mid-term election of 2002? (Leonard, 2). Therefore, the Internet is a strong force in the changing shape of political discourse. The information that people find and share over the internet shapes their opinions and can assist them in becoming better citizens. Political information can be shared in a way that ties the emotions of the participants but the internet helps the people to form their own opinions.
Hume posits, “new technology may facilitate a new type of citizenship commitment that combines exchange of information and evaluation, in which emotion and experience are not discounted but an accepted part of the processes of opinion formation” (2006, p. 305). In summary, political dialogue in the media has been transformed significantly by the new media. The availability of internet has helped people write blogs, surf for information that could not be easily found through conventional means. Television commercial as well as comedy programs are still abundant in the political discourse.
Ellen Hume give a good summary of political discourse and its relationship with the media by saying, “The old media deliver the old politics” (1998, p. 207). From this observation one can conclude that the new media will give rise to new politics and continue to change everything as we know it now. Works cited Hume How novel technologies are changing the news. In C. Harper (Ed. ), What’s Next in mass communication. Original York: St. Martin’s Press. 1998 Leonard, M. ‘Fake’ news is as good as the real thing . Herald Times, p. B2. , E. 2007. Postman, N. Amusing ourselves to death. New York: Penguin books. 1985