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The Democracy Superhighway

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The Internet has become one of the major sources of news and entertainment for a large percentage of the population of the United States of America. Communication between citizens and the platform to express opinions and ideas to the masses has never been so readily accessible. If one disagrees with the current administration he or she can post their complaint on a forum or a blog. The common man’s opinion can reach more people than ever before. To some this unchecked freedom of information on the Internet is viewed as a threat to democracy. Yet, democracy thrives on free speech and public discourse and because of this the Internet is not a threat to democracy.

There are several points that those who argue that the Internet is a threat to democracy use to validate their claim. One is the decline of professional journalism. As the Internet has grown in popularity, people have been obtaining more of their news online than from newspapers or television. This has led to a loss of jobs for journalists. The benefit of professional journalism is that the information they report is checked to ensure that it is factual before it is released to the public. Brian A. Williams states that, “Without this information, the fear is that Internet debate will continue, but it will be tethered less and less to reliable sources of the basic facts” (Williams). This is a valid argument, but it remains unseen as to whether or not professional journalism is threatened due to the Internet being a popular source of news. It appears that journalism is in a transition period from one media format to another. Many newspapers and television news channels are making the shift to online publication. One would think it logical that there will be more opportuniti...

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...ternet is a threat to democracy, but radio and television allow people this type of choice as well. Others state that the free flow of ideas and ease of communication that the Internet provides are essential for a democracy to thrive. The Internet is not a threat to democracy, but an important device for promoting democracy through freedom of speech.

Works Cited

Bruce A. Williams “Is Democracy Threatened by the Unchecked Nature of the Internet?” http://web1.millercenter.org/debates/whitepaper/deb_2010_0518_internet.pdf Miller Center of Public Affairs. University of Virginia., April 2010. 17 Oct. 2010

Cass R. Sunstein. 2009. Going to Extremes: How Like Minds United and Divide. New York: Oxford University Press; Cass R. Sunstein. 2002. Republic.com; Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Capella. 2010. Echo Chamber. New York: Oxford University Press.
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