The New Age of Politics

November 29, 2007
By
Generally, a politician is seen as the suit-and-tie-wearing, press-conference-on-CNN type of person. However, now politicians are trying to be more up-to-date with American culture through none other than…the Internet. Is this new change in market strategy a good thing, or is it completely ineffective? The reality is that advertising and media sources are beginning to shift focus from print and television to the Internet. Therefore, a politician’s use of the World Wide Web is not only the most effective way to reach voters; it is the way of the future.

With the 2008 Presidential Election just around the corner, the use of alternative media sources becomes more evident to the people of the United States. Many politicians use blogs, You Tube and online chats to try to persuade voters. There are, of course, the official campaign websites such as www.hillaryclinton.com or Rudy Giuliani’s website, www.JoinRudy2009.com. These websites usually provide readers with clear and concise information about the candidates’ political views, right at the potential voter’s finger tips. Additionally, candidates such as Barak Obama have created informational pages on social networking websites such as Myspace. Obama’s page, www.myspace/BarakObama, includes his views on certain campaign issues, videos of his speeches and a listing of his 200,000 “friends.” There are many other ways that 2008 candidates are trying to connect to voters. On July 23, 2007, CNN and YouTube hosted an unprecedented Democratic debate. The candidates answered questions that were posted by people all over the world through YouTube. These candidates were willing to connect with a number of different people that were truly concerned about the upcoming elections. On November 28th, CNN and YouTube hosted the Republican debate. The Internet is giving politicians and their voters the chance to interact on a new level.
Using the Internet, as these candidates do, creates a more accessible and personal environment. Since the majority of Americans have access to the Internet already, why pay the extra one dollar and twenty – five cents to buy the print edition of The New York Times? Learning from these political candidate-endorsed websites is cheaper – for you and the politician. This is also creating a personal environment, because the politicians are allowing themselves to be connected to a greater amount of voters than they might have at a rally in front of “x” number of people in Iowa. By allowing voters to ask a candidate questions, and then seeing that candidate’s response via video message, voters are able see the concern a candidate may have towards each individual.

Although politicians are trying to use the web as a connection to more citizens, there is still some skepticism based on how influential and persuasive these websites actually may be. According to the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in November 2004, seventy-one percent of 65- to 74-year-olds voted, while a mere forty-one percent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted. Generally, the typical Internet user is not 65 to 74 years old. This is shown through The Pew Internet and American Life Project Survey, conducted in 2005. It states that only forty-one percent of 65- to 75-year-olds use the Internet. Therefore, many think that politicians cannot target their most reliable voters through the Internet (Nagourney, 2). Although this may seem true, eighty-two percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use the Internet, so politicians are essentially taking this young age group, who typically does not vote, and targeting them through a very familiar media source (www.pewinternet.org). Because of this, politicians’ new market strategy should even increase voting turnout.
The advantages to adapting to the ever-changing American culture outweigh the disadvantages. The use of the Internet by politicians is not just about being “hip” or “up-to-date.” It is about supporting advancement as a society, and being able to take advantage of the choices technology offers us. Due to a decreasing level of attention to television commercials, politicians need to adapt and help create a healthy transition to the Internet, which will inevitably influence our society.





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Gagax said...
Aug. 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm
this is very very good
 
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