The new media's role in politics

Date Posted: May 25, 2019 Last Modified: May 25, 2019
The new media's role in politics Photo: mkhmarketing, Flickr

The rise of new media has radically altered the way political institutions function, the way political leaders communicate, the way elections are contested , and how citizens engage. The dynamic role of new media continues to grow and develop in novel, and sometimes unanticipated ways, that have serious consequences for democratic governments and politics. This essay seeks to examine the impact of new media on political life in greater detail. 

  • New media has expanded the role and reach of legacy media in both positive and negative ways. It has vastly increased the potential reach of political information to reach even the most disinterested citizens.
  • New media has also created digital public squares where opinions can be openly shared. It has also created new avenues for citizens to engage with the government and shape better political discourse.
  • On the flip side, it has given rise to a post-truth society with an increase in false information which plays on ideological beliefs rather than facts.
  • The rise of sensational news has weakened the earlier role of the press as a watchdog. The now ambiguous role of the media as a mouthpiece for politicians makes them complicit in spreading biases, faulty information.
  • According to the author, the current era marks a new low for the democratic importance of a free press.