Friday, June 27, 2008

Citizen Journalism paper at CCI Conference

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation has now completed its conference Creating Value: Between Commerce and Commons. It was a very successful event, with over 180 delegates enjoying three days of lovely Brisbane winter sunshine and a very strong range of keynote presentations, papers and panels. If you want a blow by blow, panel by panel conference description, check out Axel Bruns' fabulous blog.

The paper that I presented was co-authored with Jason Wilson, and was titled "Citizen Journalism and Political Participation: The Youdecide project and the 2007 Australian Federal Election". It reported on the project, and the full paper can be found at the QUT ePrints site.

A summary of our main points in evaluating this project against the objectives set for it is:

1. Promoting citizen participation in Australian politics
  • Good range of contributions, site visits (about 12-16,000 a week) across 50 electorates
  • Biggest story was 'crate gate affair' concerning MP for Herbert, Peter Lindsay
  • 40% of registrants were from Queensland
  • Didn't get participants from some key electorates (e.g. Wentworth and Bennelong)
  • Localism is a key issue to consider as Queensland Decides site attracted as much participation in early 2008
2. Promoting citizen engagement in the policy process
  • Not really - it was more a news site than a deliberative site
  • Context of a Federal election may have been a factor here
  • Uneven buy-in from political organisations (Liberals did not get involved at all)
  • Site design issues may have been a factor
3. Building top-down/bottom-up links between mainstream and online independent media
  • Good range of references in mainstream media, both to stories and to project itself
  • You Decide TV program on Briz 31 attracted about 16,000 viewers on a Friday night (can still be viewed on YouTube)
  • Club Bloggery site established on ABC Online on back of collaborative Gatewatching site
  • Didn't make link with SBS as project partner
4. Broadening base of political participation beyond the 'political junkies'
  • Didn't happen - very much a site for the already politically engaged

No comments: