Matthew Hindman is Assistant Professor in the School of Media and
Public Affairs at The George Washington University. For the 2010-2011
academic year he will be a faculty associate with the Center, writing
on the political economy of the online public sphere.
Dr. Hindman's book The Myth of Digital Democracy, published in 2009 by Princeton University Press, looks at the Internet's impact on American politics. Parts of the book present evidence that the Internet has indeed mobilized previously inactive citizens, and changed the way that campaigns and interest groups recruit, communicate, and raise funds. But the book also uses several new data sources Internet service provider traffic data, a three-million-Web page survey of link structure among political sites, a census of top bloggers, and systematic data on search engine usage to argue that online political messages are still created and filtered by a small set of elites and media institutions.
The Myth of Digital Democracy won the Goldsmith Book Prize as well as the Donald McGannon Award for communication research. In the past two years Dr. Hindman has been given research presentations or invited lectures at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Oxford. The book has been referenced by members of the Federal Communication Commission in public speeches, and featured on National Public Radio's On the Media.
In addition to the book, Dr. Hindman has published on online campaigning, "open source" politics, and the online public sphere. His article "The Real Lessons of Howard Dean" was deemed the best article of 2006 by the Information Technology and Politics section of the American Political Science Association. His next book project focuses on Web traffic, the economics of content production, and the future of news in the 21st century.