Masthead CMC Magazine / April 1, 1996
 Building Democracy Online, by Scott Aikens and Erna Koch

Worldwide Attention to the E-Democracy Project

The project attracted international attention, and U.S Vice President Al Gore offered an online endorsement of one of the Senate candidates. Organizers point out that although access to the debate was limited to those with access to computers and modems, the media attention it attracted and the articles written as a result of the debate and online citizen discussion broadened the media coverage of the election considerably. Local papers covered the online interaction between candidates, which helped cement it as an access point and demonstrated to candidates the value of participating.

Organizers attribute the success of the Project to the spirit of collaboration among participants and sponsors, and to the fact that the debate and electronic fora were free, initiated in the civic sphere, and hosted by civic organizations. Another very important contributor to its success was the quality of the extensive candidate information supplied by the major and minor party candidates. --

Section excerpted, with permission, from the prerelease draft of "State and Local Strategies for Connecting Communities" by the Benton Foundation and the Center for Policy Alternatives.

CMC Magazine Index
Contents Archive Sponsors Studies Contact