I don’t disagree with this piece. How could I when I’m writing an LSE report on the negative impact of technology on democracy? But what worries me is that framing it as a ‘war’ between technology and democracy means we ignore the non-media problems with political representation and power. If democracy is struggling it might be because the systems have atrophied (unrepresentative, centralised etc) and failed to deliver real voice to people as well as serving up some pretty lousy policies (financial crash etc). As you rightly say, technology might actually have a part to play in helping democracy adapt and revive. It could certainly stop doing some harmful things. But putting the ‘blame’ for Trump, Brexit or populism in general on technology is distracting. If we are going to look at media problems regarding democracy, perhaps the focus should also be on traditional political communicators such as political parties and traditional journalism?

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Journalist, LSE media professor, Polis think-tank director. Writes about journalism, UK & global politics

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