Open or closed? An assessment of how blogs can contribute to policy-making
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Media International Australia, 2014, (151), pp. 16 - 24
- Issue Date:
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This article analyses the processes and outcomes of communication by two Australian government departments - the Departments of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR - that used blogs to consult with citizens on a policy that was under development. The researcher also interviewed managers of the blog processes of both departments to secure their feedback. The findings indicate that closed community blogs create excellent conditions for rich policy input, while open blogs (available to all citizens) provide less specific and less useable policy input. This is partially because public blogs are easily skewed off topic by participants who wish to dictate a particular view or as a result of 'the vibe' in the public sphere, affected by media and other people's commentary that can set the agenda for discussion. Nevertheless, open blogs can provide government with a litmus test of the immediate concerns of active members of the public.
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