Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

January 2002

Publication Source

The Civic Web

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A new communications environment, driven largely by the Internet and World Wide Web, is rapidly changing the economic, social, and political landscape. According to recent surveys, nearly seven in ten Americans (68 percent) now use computers at least "occasionally," six in ten (59 percent) have computers in their homes, and more than half (55 percent) have access to the Internet, 43 percent of these from home. Of the 55 percent of Americans who are "wired," more than one-third (36 percent), or 20 percent of the general public, now go online five or more hours per week. These numbers are up significantly from just a few years ago. For example, the number of Americans who say they go online at least occasionally has increased from 21 percent in 1996 to 54 percent in 2000.

Copyright/Permission Statement

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NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Michael X. Delli Carpini was affiliated with Columbia University. Currently January 2008, he is a faculty member of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 09 January 2008