Abstract - The Information Society 14(1)

The Politicization of Environmental Organizations through the Internet

Joseph Zelwietro

Four hundred environmental organizations in ten countries (Canada, Australia, France, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, U.K., and U.S.) were surveyed regarding the impacts of the Internet upon them; whether or not it has politicized these marginalized groups. A bilingual questionnaire was distributed through two channels (e-mail and postal mail). The study measured the organizations' information interchange through the Internet specifically and other media in general. Evidence indicates a distinction between online and offline groups, suggesting that the online groups are more politicized. Some specific findings include growth in a variety of measures, degree of penetration of the Internet in this population, types of information exchanged, differences between online and offline groups and ambiguous results regarding the extent the Internet informed an organization's policy. This population, as a whole is aware of the political utility of the Internet but as yet only a minority are consciously exploiting this capability.

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