New Report: The Internet's Role in the US presidential campaign20 May, 2009
|By Allison Orr|
The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a new report, analysing trends in how people consume political news and how they use the Internet to participate in politics.
The main finding of the report was that a majority of American adults (74% of the online population or 55% of the entire adult population) went online in 2008 to keep informed about political developments and to get involved with the election. This is the first time that a Pew report has found that more than half of the voting-age population used the Internet to get involved in the political process during an election year.
The report also highlights the use people are making of Web 2.0 applications to get involved in elections. For example:
- Nearly one in five (18%) Internet users posted comments on a blog or social networking site.
- Nearly half (45%) watched a video related to the campaign.
- One third of Internet users shared political content with other users. This trend increased over the course of the 2008 election cycle.
According to the results of this research, the Internet is now as important a source of election news and information as newspapers and roughly twice as important as radio. The online news audience is also more likely to visit many distinct news sources, but users are increasingly turning to opinion sites over news sites, and appear to be seeking sites that match their own political viewpoint. This trend is more pronounced among young people and those who are most politically engaged.
Direct link to the full report: The Internet's Role in Campaign 2008