I have blogged in the past about Ask Away, I still stand by my view that it is the better of the two projects to come out of the Massey Design Democracy project this election. Well it looks like it is having an influence on the media. But first a bit of background for those who aren’t aware of Ask Away. It is designed to be a way for voters to ask questions to political parties, which others can then up or down vote. This allows political parties to answer questions that a number of people are interested in, all in one place.
One of the questions recently asked was this:
As you can see 5 parties answered the question:
But what is interesting is that TVNZ have picked up on this question, and done a story about it. Now religious education is something that comes up every so often in political discourse in New Zealand, but is generally not a huge issue in New Zealand.
One of the downsides of social media is that MPs, and parties, can end up answering the same question over and over again. But Ask Away helps over come this issue. I also think, particularly with a question like this, that it is one of those issues that many people don’t know about/think about until they see the question there.
I haven’t had much of a look at any of the other questions on Ask Away, but if the media are paying attention and using it as a way to influence the sort of stories that they are running, it is a good thing. One of the roles of the media is to provide answers to questions people are asking, and this is a sign that they are doing that.