Americans Getting Beyond Sound Bite Politics Thanks To The Internet?

from the good-for-them dept

While some people are trying to make the case that the internet makes people dumber, some new research from the Pew folks has suggested the opposite may be true. It looked at how Americans are using the internet during the presidential campaign and found a significant number of them are using the internet to go beyond the insipid soundbites, and trying to dig out more substance. That is, they're watching unfiltered campaign speeches and debates, and also actually reading full campaign position papers and speeches. That would seem to go against those who claim that things like Google and Twitter are getting people into the mindset of only looking at snippets and soundbites. By the way, most of the coverage of this report is found in an Associated Press article, but thanks to the Associated Press's ridiculous anti-blogger policies we won't link to the AP version of the story, preferring, instead the press release from Pew.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Bagheera, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 8:44am

    Sweet like a lemon

    "...,but thanks to the Associated Press's ridiculous anti-blogger policies we won't link to the AP version of the story, preferring, instead the press release from Pew."...smoke curls from the blogospheres' gun barrel as Jim Kennedy et al writhes on the floor in agony, clutching their collective foot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    sisterofdot, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 10:09am


    Americans have been past "sound bites" in general... it's the AP that doesn't seem to catch on to the fact that people want the truth - not their stinking opinion.

    They seem to think that they are the FOURTH branch of government and that they can control the masses.

    BARF! I'm so stinking sick of the AP.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    randomcellist, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    I think it depends on who's using the internet. The internet has the capability of giving people access to almost anything they would want, be it campaign speeches or 10 second sound bits of dogs farting on small children. Like you stated in your "google is making us stupid" comentary, the medium is probably not to blame. As for the anti-blogger policies, well....that's a shame.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Matt, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 10:36am

    does it matter

    [from the linked article title]
    "A Record-Breaking 46 Percent..."
    Wow. We we are a society addicted to records, aren't we? Do we need a record for that? Does one even exist?
    What I see on that web page is a bunch of percentages which amount to very little useful information. More information does not make people more informed or smarter. And I think most people seek out information which supports their preexisting opinion. We flock together, whether in the mall or on the internet. In fact, I would argue that people have less well-developed critical thinking skills these days, which probably makes information - statistics, in particular - more dangerous in their hands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Newspaper Boy, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    Internet has made me poor

    Now that everybody can access news through a series of pipes and tubes, I have lost my job :(

    I need to find a new job

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    I dig Deeper into News, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:05am

    It is because of the internet that

    My personal experience is exactly the opposite of what the AP article claims. The internet allows me to deep-dive topics effortlessly and, because it is so easy, I do so frequently. Gone are the days I simply 'accept' what AP has to say about at news item. I don't even 'accept' what AP deems as newsworthy. I determine what is 'newsworthy' to me. I read news articles, scan op-ed pieces, watch videos, follow blogs, comment, correspond, submit stories, and so on.

    I rely on my tailored internet sources to get information I want at a level of detail I like instead of relying on 'Professional News Organizations' to digest and dumb-down what they think is important.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Streaker, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Changed My View

    The internet had an incredible imapact on my political views.

    I had been a die-hard Democrat until I began having access to news that was unfiltered by media gatekeepers. Once I had news, arguments and opinions from *all* sides of the political spectrum, my world view completely changed.

    I've come to see that Republicans have most often been unfairly maligned and demonized. I've also come to the realization that for most of my life the media in the U.S. has favored the Democrat party in subtle and not so subtle ways.

    The end result of all this new found access to raw information? I've become an independent libertarian.

    Welcome to the real world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Fisheye, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Sound bites on demand

    The benefit of the internet is the ability it gives us to summon sound bites on demand. I don't think for a minute that most people are taking a sound bite and reading pages and pages into it (like the campaign speech example). Rather, they can take a news headline, google a few definitions, wikipedia a few people or places, and find out exactly what they want to find out in seconds. They can reference full campaign speeches, but typically it's in search of "sound bites", not despite them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    No, they are not getting beyond anything. Proof in point? The swarm of idiots WHO ARE ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO VOTE yet think that Obama is muslim. Or was sworn in on the Quoran (as if that's worse than being sworn in on the bible). Or is a terrorist because his middle name is the same as an extremely popular middle eastern name similar to "Smith" in America. Or because the average American votes not based on the constitution or logic or fairness, but based on what it's going to get them. What goodies they're going to get from the candidate.

    Frankly, there should be a litmus test to voting. Otherwise it's just mob rule. And the mob tends to be filled with complete fucking mouth-breathing idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Re: by Anonymous Coward

    LOL - > so are you for or against Democrats (wich has nothing to do with this article necessarily)! When you say mob rule - I think Democrats.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: by Anonymous Coward

    Hurrr... internet trolling hurrr....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    jhunter, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:46am


    And where are these dog fart videos you speak of?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Mine Too, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Changed My View


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    stevo, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 7:06pm


    This whole story is a straw man fallacy; i'm just sayin'. Who exactly has said that the internet makes people dumber?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    random cellist, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Internet has made me poor

    I feel for you because I am myself a classical cellist, a very small niche in a shrinking industry that has been going downhill (or changing, depending on view) since recording technology. Most classically trained musicians solution to making money? Make yourself as marketable to your surrounding industry as possible. For the city that means lots of weddings. For the suburbs that means teaching lots of people (mostly kids) your craft. Recording music, performing music of all genres,...etc....

    I could probably count on my hands and feet the number of people in the world right now who can actually make their living being ONLY a concert cellist.

    But really, one think that mainstream media still has the advantage of over independent blogging/internet news is the budget to do very involved investigative journalism (IMO). The industry is changing dramatically.

    As for dogs farting on small children, idk, I actually have yet to see it but I think it would be hilarious if it were actually out there. XD

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    color code, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 2:08am

    adding sound

    Adding Sounds - HTML Lessons

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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