Governance

Blogging and Local Government

Here is another thought about blogging. Blogging for the government is one of the easiest ways government can give information to the public, don’t you think? I think so because technology is helping people receive news and information on our phones, tablets, and computers. Technological revolution has also helped people post information. Social media sites like Facebook, video sharing sites like YouTube has helped people post information, videos for years now.

News and information isn’t monopolized by the media houses these days. There are many ways in which a local government should be engaged with hyper local media that reaches hyper local audiences in a city, or a town. This audience is growing every day. Top media houses in our country already have blogs of their own and they often blog live, but they are strictly national news. We see blogs talking about local issues in India. Doing a Google search will tell you that such hyper local blogs and bloggers who blog about government activities are popular elsewhere.

A government has an effect on a country’s population through the policies it formulates for the people. But then local governments have a bigger impact on the people of a city, or a town than the state government, or the national government. The national government might make the majority of the policies, and the schemes, but it is the duty of the local government to implement policies, and also to ensure if the schemes of the government are reaching the public. The national government is secretive, and does not give out information, and it may be right in doing so. However, the local politicians and bureaucrats are easily reachable than the ones in the national government.

So when the local government is the one to keep close relations with the public, it makes sense for them to have a digital team. It makes sense to make use of bloggers who are blogging about local government functions, its issues, its achievements, and its challenges. The local government should encourage, and employ bloggers blog about hyper local issues.

Businesses have bloggers on their payroll giving out information to their customers, and also to the general public. Our politicians have used blogs for some time now. They have used their blogs optimally during this 2014 general election. They have used it to boast their achievements, and highlight the failures of their oppositions. When businesses, and our politicians can have blogs, why not the government? Blogs have become powerful, and has become a workable platform which is helping in the progression towards open communication. Bloggers with blogs of all shapes, sizes, reach, and languages participate with the government. Doing this may mobilize a community, and help citizens take part in decision making. It might also improve public service delivery.


Note: I would like to see Bangalore start a trend of engaging local bloggers. Do we already have a trend? Do we have any local government bloggers in Bangalore already? If there are bloggers reading this, do tell your story, and experience.

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