Internet sorgt für breitere Debatte im US-Wahlkampf

--- Das Pew Internet and American Life Projekt tritt mit einer knapp 50-seitigen Studie Mutmaßungen entgegen, dass Websurfer nur blind ihre eigenen politischen Meinungen bestätigen wollen und Angebote mit Informationen der Gegenpartei ausfiltern: As wired Americans increasingly go online for political news and commentary, we find that the internet is contributing to a wider awareness of political views during this year’s campaign season. This is significant because prominent commentators have expressed concern that growing use of the internet would be harmful to democratic deliberation. They worried that citizens would use the internet to seek information that reinforces their political preferences and avoid material that challenges their views. That would hurt citizens’ chances of contributing to informed debates. The new survey ... belies those worries. It shows that internet users have greater overall exposure political arguments, including those that challenge their candidate preferences and their positions on some key issues. Im eigentlichen Report heißt es weiter: At a time when political deliberation seems extremely partisan and when people may be tempted to ignore arguments at odds with their views, internet users are not insulating themselves in information echo chambers. Instead, they are exposed to more political arguments than non-users.

Andere interessante Zahlen: As of early July, 42% of internet users had gotten news about the campaign online or through email. That represents more than 53 million people. ... Three-quarters of all Americans (78%) say television is a main source of campaign news. Some 38% of Americans say newspapers are a primary source; 16% say radio; 15% say the internet; and 4% say magazines. (These figures don’t add up to 100% because respondents were allowed to give up to two answers.) ... 31% of Americans with high-speed connections at home identify the internet as a main source of campaign news. ... Some 24% of home broadband users are going to alternative online sources. Some 24% have visited the web site of an international news organization, and 16% say they have visited a more partisan alternative news organization’s site. Use of these alternative sources is almost always accompanied by use of other more mainstream sources. Auf Webblogs als "alternative Nachrichtequellen" geht der Report leider nicht ein.