UK Parliament Should Digitally Connect with Citizens



#futurenews: The Communication of Parliamentary Democracy in a Digital World
Hansard Society


The report from the Hansard Society, which aims to strengthen democracy, highlights the technological and cultural change the UK Parliament needs to adopt if it is to continue to remain at the centre of UK democracy.

The report argues that with information becoming increasingly digitised, Parliament has a major opportunity to connect with citizens by providing platforms which allow them to better understand the political system and the work of Parliament.

The report states, however, that Parliament needs to do more with digital technology to be part of the public debate and conversation about policy and politics by providing 'useful pathways' through the otherwise mass of information available to citizens on politics, as well as advance warning of key policy issues by linking them digitally to relevant parliamentary content and debates.

Parliament also needs to do better in identifying specific online communications with policy and legislative interests with which it can build relevance, the report argues.

The report's recommendations for action include specialised 'on-line' staff to allow Parliament to build links with online communities, investing in digital infrastructure to broaden its online reach, and providing more accessible digital information content.

Launching the report, its author Dr Ruth Fox, commented: ‘The public have a right to expect Parliament to communicate its work quickly and clearly and to make information freely accessible in ways that keep pace with how we all access news today, particularly through mobile devices and video.

‘In an online, networked world in which people are overwhelmed with an avalanche of information, Parliament could and should be one of the most trusted sources of high-quality political and policy information.'


Thumbnail image: Esther Vargas/Flickr


United Kingdom
Published Date
March 28, 2013