How politicians and citizens use digital technologies to engage in politics in a post-broadcast democracy

After the discovery of the internet and digital media, it seems as if people cannot resist the compulsion to engage in this platform. Billions of people in the world are registered as members into a digital media of sorts. The most famous ones are Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Google with a following in billions of people. The politicians have discovered the potential strength in these digital technologies and are tapping into them left and right (Tufekci & Wilson, 2012). The people have also discovered the power that lies in the digital technologies and are using them to make waves on the political platforms. The ways in which the digital technologies are applied by both politicians and citizens to control politics have been discussed in the following paragraphs.

Digital media technologies have largely influenced political affairs through the provision of an avenue in which these politicians reach out and connect with their potential voters (Muniandy & Muniandy, 2013). They have used the digital media technologies and with emphasis on the social media to conduct their campaigns in various places, distribution of party and materials to the people and other relevant information. One of the factors that makes this become a very desirable means of interaction is the capacity to reach out to many people at a go and that it is way much cheaper than other forms of campaigning like the radio and TV adverts (Rospars et al 2013). In addition to that, it is very easy to identify what people need through the social media platforms as people interact among each other. The digital technologies also allow people who have a common goal to come together in a group. This becomes easy for the politicians as they can just connect to the group directly and air their issues.

A perfect example in this case would be the USA campaigns and the re-election of the USA president, Barack Obama (PEW research, 2012). Obama digital.

His re-election to a second term in the office was largely influenced by the power of the digital technologies and social media (Pew research center video file, 2012).

An important concept that these forms of digital technologies offered the people during the campaign period is the capacity to offer interactive sessions between the potential voters and the potential candidate.

Journalists also take advantages use it. Mandiberg (2012) stated that journalist always give themselves a handicap when they don’t use digital technology. The obvious difference social media and traditional media is digital media could multi-way communication and is no time and space limitation. It is already become very effective way to interaction to audience and much cheaper than other forms of mass media like the radio and TV. Journalist could get potential news from the social media users who are come from the whole world. Besides, they can public their article in anytime, the readers always want get the news which is fresh and effective. According to the new policy of Twitter, it allows users make the decision individually whether they want to receive DMs from any Twitter user. For journalists, the new policy increases a lot of potential sources to them. A number of journalists already switched to the new policy for get more sources from whole internet.


Retrieved on 15th November,2013 from


Mandiberg, M (2012), The Social Media Reader, New York and London: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS

Muniandy, L & Muniandy, B (2013). ‘The Impact of Social Media in Social and Political Aspects in Malaysia: An Overview’, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 3 (11):71-76.

Pew research center video file. Campaign 2012. 2012, August 16. Obama Outpaces Romney in Social Media Campaign. Viewed 13 November 2013.

PEW research (2012). ‘How the Presidential Candidates Use the Web and Social Media’. Viewed 13 November 2013.

Tufekci, Z & Wilson, C. (2012). ‘Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations From Tahrir Square’. Journal of Communication. 62: 363–379.


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