Avoid any easy hype about the potential of the internet to usher in a new age of democracy, warns Jackie Ashley.
Murdoch and the better-off are mapping their monopolistic powers over to the new digital medium while the old medium’s powers to question these elites are being sidelined:
We should be nervous when politicians start boasting, as they are, that the net allows them to bypass irritatingly persistent, difficult interviewers such as John Humphrys and Jeremy Paxman. Obviously, they need to be scrutinised and cross-questioned by well-briefed interrogators, secure enough in their jobs to push the point. Democracy demands it. Putting up your own website, conducting online question-and-answer sessions, is a doddle by comparison. They allow the politician to control the terms of the exchange and never face a public challenge on questions they don’t want to answer.
– Jackie Ashley, Guardian