Media dominance

Who controls the web?

In the early 16th century, Martin Luther, assisted by enterprising printers unhandicapped by copyright laws, swamped the market with five pamphlets for every one put out by his Catholic opponents. Other Protestant writers poured out their own flood of sermons, treatises, polemics and devotional writings. For more than three decades Protestants dominated the recently invented printing press. By the time the Catholic authorities found a way to use the new medium to their own advantage, the religious landscape of Europe had been utterly and irreversibly transformed.

In the late 20th century, evangelical Christians appear to account for more than 80 percent of the Christian presence on the World Wide Web. How long will this dominance persist, and what are its long-term implications? And how might we explain this imbalance in the use of a revolutionary new technology?


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