Research Purpose

Digital media has been heralded as inherently democratising. People have direct access to each other and to their elected representatives, across geographical and cultural boundaries. But increasingly it is also seen as a space in which democracy may be simultaneously undermined.

As digital technology increasingly permeates society, there is good reason to pay attention to the institutions, policies, and practices that surround this technology and present both opportunities and threats to democracy. This is especially true for government, as those people who represent the interests of all citizens, but it is also true for everyone with an interest in the future health of our democracy.

The purpose of this research was to explore the opportunities, risks and threats posed to New Zealand’s democracy by digital media, in order to scope future research into the policy solutions available to New Zealand to maximise the opportunities, and to meet and mitigate the threats.