Home > Uncategorized > Blog 12 (11): What it means to be Democratic today?

Blog 12 (11): What it means to be Democratic today?

Does being a Democratic citizen today in 2010 mean the same thing that it did when your parents were in their early 20s?  The obvious answer to this question would be no, but it goes much deeper than saying that things are different now than they were 40 years ago.  Primary the influx of technology and the information age have forever change the way citizens consume news.  This and This were the primary ways people would get their news.  Today the possibilities of news outlets are endless.  Sunstien even goes as far to say that citizens can create a “Daily Me” where they only are exposed to news which they wish to view.  In the 1960’s and 1970’s, news was primarily gathered through broadcast evening news or magazines.  Before the information age and the explosion of the internet, there were far fewer outlets for news therefore everyone was exposed to the same message.

The effects this change in information has on being a Democratic citizen transcends just the gathering of information by citizens.  Since we live in a culture today where news is so readily available and so vast, certain areas of news are ignored all together.  This vastness of news outlets creates tensions between people of separate viewpoints, therefore halting the Democratic process.  The hostile media effect and bias assimilation effects have a great deal to do with how citizens disrupt the Democratic process.  If all citizens are not consuming the same news, then lines are drawn and it becomes harder to form productive arguments.  For example, if a group of liberals only consuming liberal media and conservatives only consuming conservative media were to argue about a point that neither side has see any media other than the media supporting their cause, there will be no productivity therefore no Democratic process.

The reason this generation is so vastly different from our parents is the availability of resources.  It is our job as citizens to consume media from varying viewpoint in order to have a democratic society unlike past generations that were exposed to much of the same news.  If citizens only consume what they want to hear democratic debate will become obsolete.

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