The Government Blog

Posted Wednesday September 24, 2008 by John Gunders in |

Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, has been writing for The Age, and suggests that one way a government could be made more open is through blogging:

I’m in the early stages of organising a trial government blog. The purpose of the experiment will be to explore the possibilities for government participation in blogging. Meaningful government involvement in the blogosphere requires much more than just telling a bunch of public servants (or politicians) to get blogging.

Read the post here.

Andrew Bartlett, now blogging for Crikey, points out that this can cause some grief for the politician concerned, and as one of the few (former) politicians who has been seriously engaged with blogging, he should know.

Bartlett seems optimistic about the possibilities, but I’m not so sure given the way the spin-doctors and PR people have captured the political process over the last decade: a move that Prof Rod Tiffen of the University of Sydney sees as undermining Australian democracy. I’d be keen to see a genuine engagement with respondants and commenters on a government blog (presumably after the nutters and trolls had been filtered out), but previous examples of corporate blogging, such as those in the News Limited stable, have not filled me with confidence. Remember when one of Tim Dunlop’s posts on Blogocracy was pulled by the editors at News Limited? I can’t see the spin-doctors letting genuine, unfettered opinion through.

Speaking of which, don’t forget The Hollowmen on ABC at 9:00pm tonight!

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