Standard Article

23 Digital Democracy

How the Internet Has Changed Politics

5. Media Effects/Media Psychology

2. Evidence of Effects

5. In the Political Arena

  1. Leticia Bode,
  2. Stephanie Edgerly,
  3. Ben Sayre,
  4. Emily K. Vraga,
  5. Dhavan V. Shah

Published Online: 28 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems128

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

How to Cite

Bode, L., Edgerly, S., Sayre, B., Vraga, E. K. and Shah, D. V. 2012. Digital Democracy. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. 5:2:23.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 DEC 2012


Over the past two decades, the Internet has increasingly become part of the everyday life of US citizens. This chapter considers the impact of the growing use of the Internet on media use and political behaviors. Specifically it addresses the theoretical, practical, and empirical consequences of various uses of the Internet for sociability, social capital, online formats of news and politics, political blogs, online public spheres, and political messaging. We further consider the emergence of online spaces as sources for information and social interaction, and the implications of these spaces for democracy. Highlighted in this discussion is the advent of social media (e.g., blogs, Facebook, YouTube), and the corresponding development of new spaces in which citizens may “do” politics.


  • Internet;
  • Social Media;
  • Social Capital;
  • Blogs;
  • Online News;
  • Politics;
  • Political Communication