New Media and Politics Essay Paper

New Media and Politics

With the passage of time, the world has become a global village. Media has played a significant role in reducing communication gaps and barriers between people all across the globe. The emergence of new media technologies has not only affected people all across the globe but also the conventional medium being used for communication thus further diversifying its role. The increasing span of media and its role in today’s world is not only being witnessed by the developing countries but also by the developed countries. This has also affected and revolutionize outline for political communication. The increasing role of internet and mobile phones in politics for the purpose of election campaigns in both developed and everyone knows developing country. The emergence of new media has strengthened not only the conventional media but also affected lives of common people living across the world. With the emergence of new media and its increasing sphere has greatly influenced political communication.

Use of Media in Political Campaign

We live in a world where democracy is thriving and where people have the right to speak and express their opinions. In these conditions, there is always a chance for media to flourish, as it is an essential characteristic of a democratic country. In such societies media has played a very important role by encouraging political debates and establishing platform for dialogues and debates. These elements together encourage atmosphere for freedom of speech and liberty, which are essential part of democracy. Although media has played significant role in promotion of free democratic society but there are still countries, where democracy does not exist or exist in a limited way and in such countries free media is controlled and state regulated. State regulated media, controlled media is mostly used for misinformation purpose or for getting an edge against their rivals, and it tries to portray wrong information as right as fake publicity of those behind this undemocratic act. These acts hinder the role of digital media to promote freedom of speech and democratic values (Axford & Huggins, 2000).

Role of New Media in Politics

Internet is a very vibrant part of new media, which connects million of people across the globe. Although internet facility is common in most developed countries but its access to people is very limited in developing and under developed countries where in most cases internet is also state controlled. In today’s world, political parties and representatives of people compete with each other by delivering their message globally with relative ease. They mostly own their own websites and blogs where interaction between the representatives and the people can take place in order to convince them to make the right choice by casting votes in their favor and for getting in touch with their supporters and receiving feedbacks from them. Face book, YouTube and Twitter are very good examples of social interaction websites where the political leaders and representatives of people can leave their messages and share their videos and thoughts to people all across the world. Their supporters who keenly follow them follow their messages and at the same time their every message and words are scrutinize by the critics who give their opinion on the message by the leader of the political parties. The campaigning of the American President for the elections is an excellent example of the role of new media in the 21st century. According to research and statistics election campaign done by president, Obama managed to attract 30% of the total votes for the Obama’s presidential elections portraying the power of new media. Having saying that, it is still surprising to know that even in the developed countries there are limitations to new media. Even the population living in developed countries lack awareness about the use of internet. Apart from this there are many people belonging to lower and lower middle class who cannot avail this facility. The use of new media was also very vibrant in the African elections where people speak more than 1000 language with various cultures and traditions. Access to internet is limited to rich and wealthy people in this part of the world but this scenario seems to be improving with the passage of time and with more awareness is being created amongst the people who have stood up for their rights (Trent, Friedenberg, Denton, & Jr., 2011). The presidential elections in Ghana mostly revolved around the two major parties and this is where surprising use of new and digital media was seen. Both the parties launched their websites to gain support of the people and to promote their agenda. This mode of communication was also used for the gathering of funds. This election campaign was not only limited to internet but it was also managed and monitored with the help of cell phones. Cell phones were also used for gathering of fund and for casting of votes. The use of digital media in these elections was for the first time in any African country on such extensive scale.

Results of the presidential elections were quite shocking as John Atta Mills who previously has stood up as a presidential candidate and had been defeated two times before won the elections. Apart from this, it was very good to see that both parties accepted the results, which can be rarely seen in politics of developing countries.

New media effects on politics

Digital media or new media can play a very important role in the coordination between the government and the society. These medium of communication can be used to remove evil such as corruption and reducing crime rate in the country. It can help people to hold accountable their leaders who are supposed to seek out their problems in a relatively easier way. Government on the other hand can get regular feedbacks from the public helping them to evaluate themselves and for reaching out areas and helping people where they have not reached yet. This gives sense of empowerment to the public who feels to be the bottom of every political discussion and they feel part of the government in spite of not being their part (Lister, 2009).

Changes in voting pattern

With media playing a very important role in connecting people worldwide and playing a very important part in politics it can be seen that new media has had a positive impact on the voting patterns. With new media creating more awareness amongst people helped the political process by involving those who were previously not involved in elections like the youth which previously had least interest in this process but things gradually changed and with induction of new and digital media people belonging to every age group cast culture and religion understood the importance of casting their votes and choosing the right person to lead them and work for their betterment thus overall boosting and strengthening of democratic process (Howard, 2006).

Role of New Media in Future Politics

It seems that in future politics and election campaigns will be all about the effective and efficient use of digital and new media as it is a very good way of effectively transferring the message to the general public, which has been the case in previous election campaigns. Thus it would be very safe to say that scope of technology and new media is very vital and important in future politics and political parties should try to meet these new standards by reviewing and working on them and playing their part in promoting this process (Trent, Friedenberg, Denton, & Jr., 2011).


Axford, B., & Huggins, R. (2000). New Media and Politics. London: SAGE.

Howard, P.N. (2006). New Media Campaigns And The Managed Citizen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lister, M. (2009). New Media: A Critical Introduction. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon; New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

Trent, J.S., Friedenberg, R.V., Denton, R.E., & Jr. (2011). Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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