New Statesman New Media Awards 2007

Interactivity, usability and accessibility were the buzz-words of this year’s New Statesman New Media Awards, and the engagement opportunities created by the winners were commended by the judges. Amongst the front-runners were those who encouraged high levels of user-generated content (Futurelab – winners of the ‘education’ category did this with their website www.createascape.org.uk) as well as those who harnessed new technologies to spread the word on particular issues (Stopthetraffkik – winners of the ‘advocacy’ award have managed to do so with their website www.stopthetraffik.org).

Before the ‘elected representative’ award was presented, we were reminded of recent headline-grabbing stories about politicians’ use of new media – topically, the fact that the US Primaries have recently been part-contested on YouTube highlights the extent to which campaigns and elections benefit from social networking sites. Finalists for this category were:

The blog of Counselor Andrew Burns (andrewburns.blogspot.com)
The vodcasts of David Cameron, MP (www.webcameron.org.uk)
The website of Ed Miliband, MP (www.edmilibandmp.com)
The website of Jo Swinson, MP (www.joswinson.org.uk)

The fact that the award was presented by one of the nominees for this category, Barry Sheerman (www.barrysheerman.org.uk), suggests that the competition was hard-fought. There were 52 entries in total for the ‘elected representative’ award (out of a possible list of hundreds). David Cameron won the award on the basis that he’d been the most consistent in his use of new media to revamp his party’s image.

It’s good to see so many elected representatives online! Here’s hoping that word continues to spread in both Houses and that Parliament itself can next year receive a nomination as a new innovator, modernising government.

Laura

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