1998 年 13 巻 p. 179-188,273
The present paper is an attempt to review the progress of “World Wide Web” (WWW) and assess its potentials as the emerging election campaign and news madia. National elections took place in the United States and Russia in 1996 and in England and France in 1997. During the course of the presidential election in the United States, WWW emerged as The new election campaign and news media. As early as July of 1995, the first political website was set up by Internet, entitled “Political Site.” The first subscriber to the “Political Site” homepage was “The While House, ” followed by a presidential candidate, Lamar Alexander. Major mass media and several election-specific independent organizations in the United States were also quick to respond, each setting up a website and starting a special homepage exclusive to the presidential election. Taking the 1996 American and Russian presidential elections as example, this paper examines use of WWW as regards the location (address) of major websites exclusive to the presidential elections; the exten of coverage; the structure of web system; and social and political implications of WWW. It is concluded that WWW may be said to possess superior potentials as election campaign and news media. It has combined characteristics of TV (video-clips) and printed media (text) for election campaigning and news reporting; it offers a wider and greater freedom of information choice by “browsing” and “surfing”; and, above all these material features, it helps set the major “agenda” for the elections as do the conventional mass media; and it would encourage voters to participate in reciprocal communications with a wide variety of people and organizations, such as political parties, electoral candidates, election-spedific independent organizations, mass madia, and other voters as well.