Are you watching, COI?

Hello, 70 Whitehall! The FT reports that COI’s media monitoring unit is considering how to extend its coverage to the blogosphere. Hardly a surprise, but I suppose it’s another endorsement of the importance of the new channels, particularly in politics. According to MMU director Clarence Mitchell: ‘There’s a whole level of debate taking place online which simply didn’t exist before and departments feel they need to be fully engaged in that.’ When he says ‘several were taken increasingly seriously within government’, one wonders which. Apart from the obvious couple.

Incidentally, having been (I thought) quite nice about Iain Dale yesterday, I have to say his summary of the FT piece is pretty slanted, and not exactly accurate.

The Financial Times reports that the government is about to set up a ‘blog monitoring unit’ (I kid you not).

No, Iain, you do kid us. It’s not a new unit being set up, it’s an existing unit thinking about expanding its remit. And besides, as you proudly point out on regular occasions, political stories frequently break online, then find their way into the mainstream media – so it’s probably doing exactly the same job, just a day earlier. And anyway, what’s the alternative – ignore the blogosphere? How often do I read posts complaining that the government isn’t listening to ordinary people outside the Westminster Village? Sheesh, you just can’t win.

2 thoughts on “Are you watching, COI?”

  1. “The blog monitoring would need a sufficient number of individual government departments to agree to cover the extra costs involved. If this happened, MMU estimates a service could operate by the end of the year.”
    Why does this feel like a too traditional approach to media monitoring? How many departments have already cobbled together their own blog and internet monitoring functions, using Web 2.0 apps and other freebies?
    Is the media monitoring all centralized in the U.K. government, or do individual departments have their own media monitoring teams as well, to supplement the COI’s service?
    That’s the model we follow in Canada.

Comments are closed.