Rory Cellan-Jones on virtual democracy

March 17, 2010

Direct, real-time communication among politicians and the public through social media platforms is reshaping democracy and the news media, but questions remain about how the fabric of society might change as a result, argued a panel at an event hosted by the BBC on Tuesday evening at Westminster.

The Web provides a de-centralised opportunity for users to communicate from various points on the political-economic spectrum, but gatekeepers are emerging who try and curtail the dissemination of information they find objectionable, suggested panellist Aleks Krotoski, who recently completed work on the BBC series “Virtual Revolution“.

“Innovative social-media platforms start off being interactive, but then they can become broadcast tools,” cautioned Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s new digital election correspondent.

The panel was chaired by Peter Horrocks, director of BBC global news, and included Pooneh Ghoddoosi, a presenter with BBC’s Persian service and Peter Barron, director of communications for Google in north and central Europe. BBC is producing a series about the Internet titled “Superpower“.

Cellan-Jones spoke to Reuters after the panel discussion about social media and the upcoming UK general election. You can watch the video clip below or if you can’t see it, please click on the headline of this post to see it.

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