Will New Media Change The US Government?

Jan 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Corporate Podcasts, Podcasting Events

The biggest new story of the day may be Barack Obama’s Presidential inauguration, but, at least for people interested in new media, the most interesting story of the day may be the introduction of an official White House blog. 

Three years ago, we predicted that the next President would be a podcaster, saying:

The next president of the United States will be a podcaster. The next president will be someone that understands how to use podcasting and video podcasting effectively. And just as importantly, the next president will be someone that can navigate the potential minefield of citizen media.

Our prediction may have been right – but we didn’t anticipate how quickly the White House would adopt new media. 

Today, Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House, introduced the White House Blog and outlined the administration’s priorities for the site:

Our initial new media efforts will center around three priorities:

Communication – 
Americans are eager for information about the state of the economy, national security and a host of other issues. This site will feature timely and in-depth content meant to keep everyone up-to-date and educated. Check out the briefing room, keep tabs onthe blog (RSS feed) and take a moment to sign up for e-mail updates from the President and his administration so you can be sure to know about major announcements and decisions.

Transparency — President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President’s executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.

Participation – 
President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.

We’d also like to hear from you — what sort of things would you find valuable from WhiteHouse.gov? If you have an idea, use this form to let us know. Like the transition website and the campaign’s before that, this online community will continue to be a work in progress as we develop new features and content for you. So thanks in advance for your patience and for your feedback.

Later today, we’ll put up the video and the full text of President Obama’s Inaugural Address. There will also be slideshows of the Inaugural events, the Obamas’ move into the White House, and President Obama’s first days in office.

While the official policy is that the administration is embracing new media for communication, transparency and participation – there are other reasons:

  • Obama’s campaign demonstrated the value of using new media in politics;
  • Adopting new media will generate a lot of links to the official White House site, improving the search engine ranking and authority of the administration’s message;
  • Using new media will let the administration route around media filters and get its message directly to the public;
  • The American public now expects a new media government – something that was hard to imagine four years ago. 
How do you think the administration’s use of blogging and new media will change US government? And will The White House blog forc
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2 Responses to “Will New Media Change The US Government?”

  1. elianeJ says:

    Obama has already changed government in so many ways – but probably a lot of people won’t see this for a long time, or at all, because of biases and preconceptions!

  2. Michelle says:

    Well, there’s a blog. Ok. Former administration as much as I loathed them had been putting white house briefings and all of the President’s speeches and remarks on the White House website as podcasts. And they’ve done this since 2005. I can’t even get those. So far its a weekly address vodcast instead of a podcast and a blog. I want my podcasts back! Otherwise, Cheers! 🙂


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