James E. Katz

Media, Democracy and the Obama Administration: Hope without Change?

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Social media (e-mail, blogs, social networking sites, text and instant messaging, mobile phone calls, and micro-blogs such as Twitter, and digital media sharing formats including Flickr and YouTube) have been celebrated as changing fundamentally the nature of political discourse. Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential election bid and the practices of his newly installed administration have been offered as cases in point. Does this change mean putting the political process into the people's hands? This paper considers briefl y three cases (Citizen's Briefi ng Book, Online Town Hall Meeting and Supreme Court Nomination) to evaluate if opportunities for decisive public input to government policy via social media have been realized.

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