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New Report: Use of New Media in the 2007 Australian Federal Election

03 July, 2008
By Allison Orr

The Australian Centre for Public Communication at UTS has published a new study reporting empirical data from the 2007 Australian Federal Election, called E-Electioneering: Use of New Media in the 2007 Australian Federal Election.

The development of Web 2.0 applications such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, have achieved widespread use since the previous Australian Federal Election and the last US Presidential election, when the use of new media was studied and reported on.  The Federal Election last year provided an opportunity to research the use of new media in political electioneering in Australia and explore implications for politics, the media and society.

The study finds that, at this stage, new media have not created a new public sphere of political discussion and debate where citizens can participate as equals.  The use of new media by Australian Federal politicians is still low, and most Web 2.0 type media used for political communication are being controlled by corporate, organisational and political "gatekeepers".

However, despite the limited and mostly one-way use of new media by politicians, new media are being used more interactively and in novel ways by political parties and particularly by interest and activist groups.

To read the full report: E-Electioneering: Use of New Media in the 2007 Australian Federal Election

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