Robert Denton, Virginia Tech professor of communications studies and W. Thomas Rice Chair and Director of the Corps of Cadets Center for Leader Development, is an invited speaker at the ninth annual Presidential Rhetoric Conference, to be held February 27-March 2 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Included in the program is a panel discussion with George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, James Carville, political consultant to President William Clinton, and Mary Matalin, political consultant to President George H. W. Bush.
Denton's paper "Political Television in the Internet Age," analyzes American politics and the internet. He discusses concerns by some scholars that the merging of the internet with television, and the increase in customizing information to specific interests, will result in more social fragmentation and group-centered politics with less opportunity for public debates.
"Just as was the case with television, the early literature of the 1980s and 1990s suggests the internet would democratize politics by encouraging even greater participation, fostering new political parties and interest groups as well as leveling the playing field among electoral participants. However, studies now show that few people access political or issue sites. Even more informational sites are becoming overly commercialized. Thus, as with television, the internet has yet to transform American politics and democracy to the utopian notions of more informed and politically active citizenry."
Denton may be contacted at (540) 231-9825 (office), (540) 951-3408 (home), or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.