Paper on BBC Action Network e-democracy project published

My paper on the BBC Action Network has been published in the eJournal of eDemocracy & Open Government.

It looks how the BBC tried to encourage civic engagement through its Action Network project, originally known as iCan.

In the paper, I argue that the initiative suffered from a “fundamental tension between the BBC’s desire to empower grassroots civic action and the corporation’s historical and entrenched obligations as an impartial public service broadcaster governed by a paternalistic and elitist Reithian ethos”.

I suggest that rather than hosting e-participation platforms, broadcasters and other public institutions should embrace Web 2.0 approaches that enable citizens to engage on different levels and at different times, depending on contexts.

I hope the paper will be of interest to journalists, academic and public policy makers involved in issues of the media, e-democracy and participatory culture. It is available as a free PDF download, under a Creative Commons license

The paper is part of a special issue of JeDem on sustainable e-participation.

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