As Americans we see somewhat of a balance of opinions in our media, but in other, lesser-developed democracies the Internet is one of the only sources to get different outlooks.
This article from RadioFreeEurope uses Russia as an example of how blogging is affecting the political landscape. Surprisingly, Russia is the second largest user of Live Journal. Many of the blogs are about politics and government, offering a point of view different than the mass media.
We have talked about corporations trying to deal with two-way communication, but its important to note that governments are also facing the same problem. As popularity of alternative news sources grows, governments are scrambling to protect the image it has created for its citizens.
Citizens around the country can have conversations about the inefficiencies of the government and if enough people keep talking then something will have to change.
I’m grateful that we have the protection of free speech and so far it has extended to the Internet. However, it is not a liberty we should take for granted, as governments like Russia are trying to censor the communication.
“President Vladimir Putin created a new government agency to monitor the media and the Internet, sparking fears that sites like Live Journal would be censored.”
In light of this article, I think that it is important to take advantage of political blogs. Sometimes I can get more out of a blog post with good responses than I can with a segment of Hannity and Colmes.