Britain on-line for first election on the Internet
Saturday 25 January 1997
On Tuesday, the first of a batch of special election web sites (http://ge97.co.uk) is scheduled to make its debut. The same day, libertarian techies from both sides of the Atlantic will gather in London to discuss the prospect of putting politics on the information superhighway.
The speakers will include Michael Martin, creative director of Online Magic, who forecasts that the coming election will see the emergence of a new political reporting medium and a significant new forum for debate.
The last time Britain went to the polls five years ago, Internet use was still confined to the nation's computer science laboratories. Now more than two million people in this country use the Net, a figure which is expected to rise by 50 per cent this year.
"Obviously only a minority of even these people are going to use the new media as their primary source of information in the forthcoming campaign, but the new media's coverage of the election is going to be more than a mere sideline," said Mr Martin.
The first study of Internet use in the recent US presidential election reveals that almost a third of American voters (28 per cent) were online at some point during the course of the1996 presidential campaign.
"Any question of acceptance of the Internet as a source of political information was resolved on election night when so many news-hungry web users were online trying to get election returns that the entire computer network was swamped," said Adam Clayton Powell III, vice-president of the Freedom Forum, who will fly in from Washington for Tuesday's conference.
Democrat and Republican strategists realised the increasing importance of reaching the wired generation some time back. Both parties ploughed significant resources into campaign web sites.
Britain's main political parties have been holding back. Partly this is down to lingering technophobia and a desire to concentrate effort and resources on traditional forms of propaganda such as posters and party political broadcasts. But is it also because the rival parties are wary about prematurely over stretching their election expense accounts.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...