Exploring the uses and effects of the Internet in the 2008 U.S. election

For the fourth consecutive election, Tom Johnson, professor at Texas Tech University, and Barbara Kaye, associate professor at University of Tennessee, are exploring both the uses and effects of the Internet in the presidential campaign.

This study, like its predecessors, will explore motivations for using the Internet and its components, credibility of online and traditional media and the degree to which Internet components are taking time away from traditional media.

The new study also explore the degree to which the media are polarizing public opinion by examining selective exposure and hostile media effects. The 2008 study also includes measures for reliance, credibility and motivations for using social network sites and YouTube. Finally, this study doesn’t simply look at blogs and political websites, but distinguishes between media journalism, political and candidate blogs and political websites and studies their uses and effects.

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About Tom Johnson

I am the Marshall and Sharleen Formby Regents's Professor of Convergent Media at Texas Tech University. I study political uses of the Internet and its components


  1. With the advent of the Internet, there are so many different ways to convey useful, unbiased news on a plethora of topics.

    The only issue I see with more use of the Internet is how to prevent hacking.

    But aside from that, I do hope to see more qualitative efforts being made to create a “truth” site and speak about the debates and candidates as they really are and no being slanted to certain mediums owners back pockets.

    Just my two cents – don’t believe everything you read!

  2. This really show the powerful of internet as social media nowadays. Effect of the Internet does somehow affected Malaysia election 2008 also.